Construction has begun on Watling Primary School - the third new primary school to be built in the Western Expansion Area of Milton Keynes.
The primary school on Calverton Road is expected to open in September 2023 and will cater for up to 630 pupils. The development will also include sports facilities to be shared with the community, plus provision for a 39-place full-time equivalent (FTE) nursery.
Watling Primary has been planned to be eco-friendly from the ground up. The school layout has been designed to get maximum benefit from natural daylight, reducing the need for lights to stay on all day. Intelligent controls will react to weather patterns to make sure the building only uses the power it needs.
Solar panels on the roof will generate electricity for the school all year round whilst air source heat pumps will absorb energy from the outside air. These features will reduce the building’s reliance on fossil fuels and save the school money.
Over the past eight years, the Council has opened six new schools and expanded 24 others, creating thousands of new local school places. In each case, planners, architects and builders have aimed to make a positive impact on the environment by using clever designs and new, greener technologies. Through this and other initiatives, Milton Keynes Council is on track to be carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050.
Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: “It’s incredible to see how quickly the teams are working onsite to create the foundations for this wonderful new school. Watling Primary will be essential for families moving to the area who want local, quality schools. We know that proper planning and reducing the environmental impact, will enable these schools to be here for many years to come.”
Alongside developing new greener schools, MK Council is committed to maintaining and improving existing schools. A rolling programme of work includes upgrading roofs, windows, and doors to be more energy efficient, switching to LED light fittings, and replacing gas boilers with greener alternatives.
MK based Denbigh Alliance Multi Academy Trust will run the new school. The trust also runs the nearby secondary school (Watling Academy) which opened in September 2020 along with Denbigh School, located in Shenley Church End.