A £10 million project to construct a high-tech special educational needs school has reached completion.
The Livity School is a new facility designed to cater for boys and girls aged between two and 11 with severe learning disabilities, profound physical impairment, challenging behavioural or medical conditions, autistic spectrum disorders or sensory impairment. The three-storey building replaces a former facility – situated on Mandrell Road – and includes an elevated walkway – accessed via a gentle ramp – as well as a roof top play area for early stage pupils.
The new school is part of Lambeth Council’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) Strategy, which is committed to delivering services to young people within the local borough. Now that work is complete on the project the former facility continues to be used for educational purposes.
Livity Head Teacher, Geraldine Lee, said:
“The new Livity School provides 20 extra places for nursery and primary age children with complex needs bringing the school roll to 90. The state-of-the-art facilities enable the school to become a centre of excellence for teaching and learning, as well as supporting services for families and out of hours activities for both the children and the local community.
“The very best aids and adaptations to support children with physical and sensory impairments and autistic spectrum disorders will help staff to deliver exemplary learning opportunities.”
“The iconic structure has award-winning potential. We worked hard with the architects and developers to ensure that every detail can enhance opportunity for these very special children.
“We are very proud of what has been achieved and look forward to giving them and their families unparalleled education services.”
Family owned construction company, Mulalley and Company Limited was the main contractor on Livity School, whilst Haverstock Associates provided all architectural services on the project.
Commenting on the site’s design Haverstock Associates’ Project Architect, Adrienne Gawne-Cain, said:
“A lot of the inspiration for the design was led directly by the school’s specific requirements. One key move was to locate the early year’s children on the second floor level as the school liked the idea that they would be self-contained with their own play space and access via a glazed lift from the main entrance lobby. This also freed up an external play area at ground level for Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils.
“There are also shared terraces between classrooms so that pupils on the first floor can still have access to an outdoor space without the need for always using the ground floor playground. My favourite element of the design is the elevated walkway which leads pupils up from the main entrance to the first floor via a very gentle ramp which wraps around the double height hall and dining space.”
“Following much consultation with Head Teacher Geraldine Lee it was designed to offer 360 degree views of the hall and dining area, creating a strong focus for the school and allowing each floor to feel part of the school as a whole by being visually and acoustically connected.
“We have been working with Livity School for more than 10 years to get to where we are today.”
Prior to the school opening to students Head Teacher Geraldine Lee and Project Architect Adrienne Gawne-Cain were joined on site by Lambeth Council Leader Councillor Steve Reed, Cabinet Member for Children and Families Councillor Rachel Heywood and Paralympian John Worrall.
Discussing the site during the school visit, Lambeth Council Leader, Councillor Steve Reed, said:
“The new Livity School is a fantastic addition to the borough and shaped up superbly. Now complete, Livity School ensures 90 children with complex special educational needs can experience their education in first class surroundings.”
John Worrall added:
“It is an amazing, state-of-the-art school. More schools like this should be available; so many kids would benefit.”