From left: Declan Storey, Site Manager and Mark Gibson, Project Manager from ISG Construction, John Hattam, Chair of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust’s Board and Hempland Primary School’s Headteacher Abbie Innes with pupils.

Children and staff at Hempland Primary School have been celebrating the start of construction on their brand new building with a ground breaking ceremony.

Plans to construct the new two-storey building for the school in Whitby Avenue were unanimously approved by City of York Council’s planning committee last November and works to ready the site for construction have been taking place since the new year.

Headteacher, Abbie Innes, said: “Everyone is really excited for the work on our new school to officially start. We’re looking forward to seeing the new building take shape in the weeks and months ahead and the many opportunities it will provide for our pupils and staff moving forward.”

Hempland successfully achieved a place on the government’s School Rebuilding Programme which carries out major rebuilding and refurbishment projects in schools and colleges across England. The school’s current building has reached the end of its functional life and will be completely rebuilt under the Department for Education led programme.

The school is part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust and both the school and the trust have been working closely with the Department for Education and contractor, ISG Construction, on the plans for the new building.

John Hattam, Chair of Pathfinder’s Trust Board, said: “We are delighted that Hempland’s new build has reached this very important milestone. On behalf of the Trust, I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and determination in getting the project to this point.”

The new school is designed to be net carbon zero in operation and will be built to the latest construction standards. It will provide modern, state of the art facilities to help support an excellent and enriching education and will include a main hall, kitchen, library, staff room and reception area along with classrooms, cloakrooms, toilets and offices.

ISG Project Manager, Mark Gibson, said: “The team are delighted to be working on delivering the new primary school. The positive start is testament to the school’s pragmatic and collaborative partnership in enabling the construction sequence. With enabling and key drainage works now complete, we can move forward on program to the main building construction.”

The new building is being constructed behind the current school avoiding the need for any temporary accommodation during construction. Once the new school has been opened, the old building will be demolished to make way for an Early Years play area and landscaping.

Work on the project is due to be completed by Autumn 2025.