Construction starts of new 630-pupil primary school in Milton Keynes

The foundations have this week been laid for a large new primary school to help serve the Western Expansion Area of MK

By Sally Murrer
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 2:12 pm

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.

It will be run by MK-based Denbigh Alliance Multi Academy Trust, which also runs the nearby secondary school (Watling Academy) and Denbigh School in Shenley Church End.

The construction site uses solar powered cabins, electric vehicle charging points and hydrogenated vegetable oil to power machinery.

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.

And even the construction vehicles used to build the school will run on vegetable oil!

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.”

She said the council is committed to building new and greener schools across Milton Keynes.