The children and teaching staff at Beedon Church of England Primary School are celebrating the opening of their new school building after an act of kindness by Willmott Dixon enabled them to modernise their school.
As one of the smallest schools in West Berkshire, it launched ‘Challenge Beedon’ in July 2010 to raise an ambitious £130,000 to build a new school hall, classroom, toilets, staffroom and library. This was due to be built during the summer holidays.
It raised the money but then hit a major stumbling block when the appointed contractor left the school saying it could not deliver to the agreed budget. This left the school no hope of getting what they wanted for the amount they had raised.
Willmott Dixon came to the rescue following a visit to the school. Paul Grisdale, pre-construction director at its local office in Cobham said, “We are always looking for ways to support the local community. After visiting the school and hearing all about the project we just knew we had to do all we could to help the children and staff. There is a great ethos among everyone there and we wanted to help make their dreams become a reality.”
Paul and his team negotiated with Willmott Dixon’s supply chain partners and agreed to complete all the building work for the original sum of £130,000.
Sue George, chair of Governors at Beedon said, “When Paul phoned me to say that Willmott Dixon would manage this free of charge I was speechless. We were all taken aback with the selfless generosity of Willmott Dixon, it was incredible. Everyone at Beedon School would like to thank Willmott Dixon and their supply chain partners for making the children’s dreams come true!”
The community have given the school fantastic support through this challenging time. After five months of work on site Willmott Dixon will hand over the keys at an opening ceremony on Tuesday 7 June. Local dignitaries will attend along with parents, and the local community.
Mrs O’Halloran head teacher, staff and children will be making a presentation to all those that have helped on the project. Mrs O’Halloran said ‘It will be a special Beedon thank you for all those who have made our dreams come true.”