Specialist autism school construction delayed due to developer debt

Chessington’s Spring School faces delays in being built as its contractors file for administration. 

The building on Moore Lane was due to be completed for the school’s opening in September however, with the news of the developer’s debt issues, the site is hoped to be finished for September 2024.

The institution will still open on time but at a different location.

A temporary site for prospective students has been identified by the leading charity Ambitious about Autism, Kingston Council and the Department of Education. 

Head of Spring School, Andy Nowak said: “This development, while unexpected, is very positive and will aide us in the first year of opening.”

Focussing on the silver linings, Nowak said that they will be able to host visits for students and families at the permanent building to make a “meaningful transition” and adjust to the school’s full opening in September.

The former Kingstons House site on Coombe Road in Norbiton has been elected as a short-term resolution for the new school. 

“This will be available to all the children who are due to start at Spring school in September 2023 until the permanent building is complete,” said Cllr Steph Archer the Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services.

Awarded funding at the end of May 2019, construction for Spring School began in October 2022. Up to 36 students, aged between 4-19 years, were hoped to attend the school’s academic debut this September.

The driving ambition of the special needs school was to support the education of autistic children in the centre of the community. 

Nowak, remaining optimistic about the decision, said the temporary site will: “enable us to host visits for young people and their families and undertake meaningful transition visits and work before September.”

In a press release from Ambitious about Autism on Spring School, it said the news of Eco Modular’s administration was “unexpected.”

The interim location in Norbiton is currently being built and is predicted to be completed in May 2023.

Spring School pupils will attend the site for the 2023-24 academic year while the permanent building is being constructed. 

The Hull-based developer, Eco Modular Buildings Ltd, filed notice for administration at the start of March. According to Construction Enquirer, the firm owes £5m to trade creditors. 

Eco Modular has not responded to a request for comment. 

NEWS: Building begins on specialist autism school in Chessington

+ posts

Leave a Reply

Verified by ExactMetrics