Last Thursday, 8 September 2022, the red carpet was rolled out to welcome guests as we opened the doors to our ‘state-of-the-art’ new home.
Our students now have a custom-built new premises, after spending four years in temporary accommodation.
The Mayor Cllr Frank Kelly, was on hand to cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony before students, parents and other visitors from the local community were invited to take a tour – as well as join a treasure hunt to find letters spelling the word ‘Welcome’.
The new buildings were constructed in a £23.7m project which has seen the creation of state-of-the-art classrooms, a Multi Activity Games Area (MUGA), a dance studio, an all-weather playing field and a fantastic sports hall complete with cricket nets.
The sports hall features ‘chameleon cladding’ to minimise its visual impact, while the remaining buildings have a ‘vernacular brick’ finish in keeping with their surroundings, with each featuring roof-mounted solar panelling to provide the school with sustainable electricity. One of the Department for Education’s Low Carbon Pathfinder projects, Merstham Park School also incorporates measures to minimise CO2 emissions, including thermally-optimised materials, air source heat pumps, rain water harvesting and water-saving systems, and flexible, reusable and recyclable modules. Nature had a part to play in the design of our new school too, with the developers utilising landscaping and trees to enhance the environment, and incorporating a courtyard with tree-lined ‘sun boundaries’ for students and staff to enjoy during breaks. At the entrance to the site, there is also a memorial garden to Merstham Park’s founding headteacher, Martin Beard, which features five glass plinths displaying the school’s values, and was designed in conjunction with Mr Beard’s family. Speeches at the opening ceremony were given by Jon Chaloner, CEO of GLF Schools, Jason Segovia-Hodges from the DfE, ex-Harlequin player Tony Williams, and the Head of Merstham Park School, Andy Ward. Mr Ward said: “The opening of our new, state-of-the-art facilities will benefit both our students and our community as a whole with the new build tailored to enabling our students to develop their unique skills in a truly first-class educational setting. “At Merstham Park our ethos is simple – igniting a passion for learning. We have a team of passionate staff who are committed to providing our children with the very best educational experience.” Mr Chaloner added: “We provide our students with the very best resources and support in every aspect of school life, and nowhere is that more visible than in the exceptional new home of Merstham Park School, which has been designed to fully meet the needs of staff, students and the wider community alike, while having a minimal impact on the environment. “Everyone has been extremely patient over the course of the building project, and we are excited to see the first students and staff move into their outstanding new home at Merstham.”