The new building for the Blessed Dominic Catholic Primary School and the St James Catholic High School on its Great Strand site has been unveiled for the first time.
The Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Reuben Thompstone, inspects the blueprint for the new building at its topping out ceremony
The building was introduced to Heads and Assistant Head teachers, pupils and school governors at a recent topping out ceremony. The Worshipful Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Reuben Thompstone, and Councillor David Longstaff, Chairman of the Children, Education & Safeguarding Committee, joined them at the event.
Councillor Longstaff said: “We are fortunate in Barnet to have some of the best schools in England delivering some of the best results. This fantastic purpose-built school facility will help our borough become even better. I am delighted to be part of this development.”
The Diocese of Westminster agreed Barnet Council’s relocation of Blessed Dominic Catholic Primary School and Nursery to the current St James’ Catholic High School site. This was to enable its permanent expansion from one to two forms of entry (472 pupils).
The project will also enable the expansion of St James’ Catholic High School by two forms of entry - an increase of 300 students aged 11-16. Some of the new facilities include a brand new main hall for each school and the expansion of sports facilities being provided.
Since 2003 there has been a significant increase in the number of children born in the borough. This, combined with regeneration and migration, has meant that Barnet Council has had to undertake a number of projects to increase school places.
The existing St James’ and Blessed Dominic schools are located adjacent to Graham Park regeneration area, which aims to provide a vibrant new district centre with a good balance of homes, offices, education, retail and leisure facilities. This vision for the wider Colindale area is expected to be completed by 2021 and the expansion of school education facilities in the area is an essential part of the success of the regeneration plans.
Stephen Frayne, Chair of Governors at Blessed Dominic, said: “What a fantastic educational facility we have in prospect for September 2019 when both schools start their new lives in these premises.”
Construction works began on the main site on February 2018 and the works are due to complete in August 2019 ready for the new school academic year.
The new building