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LEWISHAM: Gordonbrock School re-build full steam ahead
Gordonbrock Primary School, located on Gordonbrock Road, Brockley, has been part of the community since 1905.
Boys were taught woodwork and senior girls were taught laundry skills. Even fire drills were a must. “On each occasion, the rules worked smoothly and the school was cleared in eighty seconds,” stated an end of year report dated April 1905.
Now 105 years later, as plans go ahead for the decant of 480 pupils plus teachers and staff to a temporary site in anticipation of Gordonbrock’s redevelopment, no doubt Headteacher Ms Sue Blythe will be hoping things go just as smoothly, although for this particular project, clearing the school will probably take longer than eighty seconds!
There have been objections to the rebuild. The Victorian Society which campaigns for Victorian and Edwardian Architecture is against the partial demolition of some of the school’s buildings. The Society said, “We want Lewisham Council to start viewing the historic school buildings in its care as an asset and not a burden.
"Victorian and Edwardian schools were built to last and lend themselves well to adaptation. Replacing them with new structures is unimaginative and unsustainable.”
Local neighbours have expressed concerns about possible noise pollution and not surprisingly, Gordonbrock parents are worried about possible disruption to pupils during the rebuild phase.
However, with expensive heating/maintenance costs, outside toilets, outside portacabins and small cramped classrooms being cited as some of the issues for the pupils, the redevelopment will steam ahead, the Easter date allowing more time for teachers and staff to prepare for the decant to the temporary site at former Greenvale School, Perry Rise.
Extensive arrangements are in place to bus pupils to and from the site, which will house them for the 15-month duration of the rebuild.
Teachers are already preparing the children for the move, with regular updates on the project, plans for a Fun Day and a “Looking Back/Looking Forward” project, where they will be celebrating the History of Gordonbrock and looking forward to new beginnings.
The rebuild will be completed in July 2011, with the School ready to be accommodated in September 2011.
It will boast new Key Stage 2 blocks, bigger classrooms with areas extended for outside teaching, group/resource rooms attached to classrooms, indoor toilets and adjoining cloakrooms.
Pupils can also look forward to landscaped playgrounds, larger indoor halls, new ICT with wireless capacity (even an IMAX Screen!) and a “living green roof” with rainwater harvesting.