Ark Putney Academy was considered for prestigious Civic Trust Award

Published: Wednesday 15th February 17

The £30m refurbishment of Putney’s Ark Academy has narrowly missed out on a coveted Civic Trust award which recognises outstanding architecture, planning and design in the built environment.

The school, which was named as regional finalist in this year’s awards, recently underwent a major facelift which has transformed its fortunes.

In a £30m scheme, funded by Wandsworth Council, the school’s Grade II listed main building was completely refurbished while a brand new replacement sports hall was also constructed.

This modernised school building has provided pupils with brighter and bigger state-of-the-art classrooms, new lifts, toilets and a better assembly hall.

And the new sports hall has enabled pupils to enjoy a much wider range of activities than was possible in its former lower-ceilinged gym block, which was originally built nearly 60 years ago.

As part of the scheme, a new multi-use games area has also been provided enabling football, tennis and netball to be played, while a newly created playground is equipped for basketball and athletics, including  long jump, high jump, plus table tennis.

The £30m required to bring the schools facilities up to modern teaching standards was partly funded by the construction of housing on a former part of the school site.

Education spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: “Although it didn’t end up making it through to the national finals of the Civic Trust Awards, pupils, parents and staff at the school can be rightly pleased and proud of the fantastic transformation their school has undergone.

“Pupils are now enjoying a fully modernised and comfortable learning environment and can now play a full range of team and individual sports, in a vastly improved setting than was the case just a few years ago.

“The original school had reached the end of its design life and needed comprehensive remodelling and refurbishment.

“If it had been any other type of building it would have been much simpler and cheaper to demolish it and build a modern new school from scratch. However its listed building status meant a different and more detailed solution had to be found and I am delighted that all the hard work that went into finding that solution has been so richly rewarded.”

The Civic Trust Awards were established in 1959 to recognise outstanding architecture, planning and design and to reward projects that have made a positive contribution to the local communities they serve.

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