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Building inspiration

PUBLISHED: 17:30 01 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:48 23 August 2010

WINNERS: Pupils and staff cheer the good news.

WINNERS: Pupils and staff cheer the good news.

A SCHOOL for children with special needs has scooped a top nationwide award for the cutting-edge modernisation and refurbishment of its buildings. Ifield School, in Cedar Road, Gravesend, won first prize Best Extension, Refurbishment or Remodel of a Scho

A SCHOOL for children with special needs has scooped a top nationwide award for the cutting-edge modernisation and refurbishment of its buildings.

Ifield School, in Cedar Road, Gravesend, won first prize Best Extension, Refurbishment or Remodel of a School category at the 2009 British Council for School Environments (BCSE) awards.

The school was completely refurbished by architects Haverstock Associates and includes a pool and a specially designed sensory garden. All work was funded by Kent County Council.

Building work was completed last December and staff and students say they are delighted with their new school, following the presentation last Wednesday.

Headteacher Pam Jones said: "We are delighted with the refurbishment and we are delighted with the architects Haverstock.

"We have gone from having outside toilets and mobile classrooms to something really stunning.

"It's fantastic that Kent County Council has invested in special education in Gravesham and we have now got a school environment that is fit for the 21st century and wonderful for the pupils with the range of learning disabilities we have got." Winners were announced at a ceremony at the Emirates Stadium, London, home of Arsenal Football Club.

A total of 170 entries vied for top slots across 13 categories.

Ty Goddard, chief executive of the BCSE, said: "The quality of entries led to intense debate amongst the judges, which is how it should be. Ifield School shows that the right resources and approach can produce great projects which we can be proud of.

"Thanks go to all for being willing to invest their time and energy in a project which ensures pupils and teachers have such an inspirational centre to learn, play and teach in.

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