The three-phase project will involve the refurbishment of a Grade II Listed building which was once a library , and the construction of a new two storey building, to create the ARK Conway Primary Academy in Hammersmith, West London.
One of the first of the initial batch of free schools planned for 2011, the ARK Conway Academy will be developed on a small, plot in a residential ‘garden estate’ environment.
The newly constructed element of the school will be built to act as a barrier to the adjacent A40, creating a peaceful courtyard play area and providing a buffer against noise pollution. The partners are working closely with English Heritage and will build the school in materials which harmonise with the period brickwork and will restore the historic copper cladding of the dome of the existing library. As a low rise two-storey building the school, will preserve views of the landmark library for the community.
The new free schools are all-ability, state-funded schools set up in response to the requirements of local people to improve education for children in their community. ARK Schools aims to create exceptional, non-selective schools for local children in inner city areas.
Managing Director of Apollo Education, Jeremy Eavis, said: “We are very excited to be involved with the new free schools at the outset, and we look forward to reporting our involvement in other, similar projects in the near future.
“Apollo is expert at working on tight urban sites, and we pride ourselves on understanding and responding to the challenges of working near residents and in occupied school premises.
“This will be a very special and unique school, and I think this project will really enhance the local community, as well as benefitting children who attend the school.”
Councillor Helen Binmore, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We are looking forward to seeing the finished school, which is one of three new schools opening in Hammersmith & Fulham this September. We want parents to have a wider choice of good schools when deciding on where to educate their children and we need more school places in the borough – the ARK Conway Primary school is helping do both.”