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A smart solution to creating extra usable space

A school near Bury St. Edmunds has taken advantage of the traditional skills and modern expertise of a local supplier of quality garden buildings to accommodate its growing pupil numbers. 

Norton Primary School contracted Smart, the Thurston-based company which produces a range of high quality garden rooms, offices and studios for gardens and other outside spaces, for advice and help.

Smart’s expert installation team moved in last Thursday (7 March) during World Book Day to lay the foundations and came back at a later date to complete the construction of one of their Quinto Key Studio units. In doing so they were able to keep any disruption to the rest of the school to the bare minimum. 

With an enormous interior of 6.4m x 3.2m this is one of Smart’s largest and most versatile unit. Built with the company’s patented TuSC technology and using natural, rich and warm Thermowood cladding, Smart knows that this impressive structure will be a great place in which to learn for many years to come. 

According to Sue Phillips, Smart’s head of sales & marketing: “More and more schools are looking to create safe and attractive learning environments but need the construction process to be as quick as possible and for suppliers to meet the tight budgets that all schools are operating within nowadays.  

“We are thrilled that so many schools and educational establishments are turning to buildings such as ours to fulfil this need as it really is the perfect solution on many levels.” 

Smart added value to the pupils’ enjoyment of their new classroom by getting them to help install a time capsule within the timber cladding. 

The time capsule contains photographs of the school as it is now, samples of the children's work, predictions about what life would be like in 50 years and a list of the children's favourite toys and books.

Paul Sheppard, operations director at Smart said: “We wanted to involve the pupils and indeed the whole school as much as possible. The time capsule certainly went down really well with both the pupils and my carpenters at Smart. This personal touch is great for the pupils, knowing their time capsule will be locked away for many years to come.”

“The headteacher, Lisa Sparkes, also visited our factory and saw us add some of the finishing touches to the building, which gave them an insight as to how the building was manufactured.”

Lisa Sparkes said: “As a school we were finding it difficult to carry out small group work activities and individual interventions due to a lack of space. The installation of this studio will give pupils a comfortable environment to support children's learning and wellbeing. We are also hoping to use the studio for lunchtime activities and after school clubs.”

Photo by Paul Nixon Photography

 

Sue Wilcock