The redevelopment of Riverside School at Goole, which started in 2017, has been carried out in three phases, allowing the school to operate while the work was underway.
The first phase included building a two-storey extension, providing seven additional classrooms, along with a specialist hydrotherapy pool, a new hall, gym, library, sensory room, small group rooms and office space.
The second phase included the full refurbishment of the original school building, including the kitchen and an additional sensory room. The final stage provided a single storey extension to accommodate two additional teaching areas.
The new facilities have enabled the school to increase its capacity from 90 children to 120, including the addition of a new sixth form and an early years and foundation stage provision.
The project was funded by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the building work has been carried out by contractor Geo Houlton & Sons.
The completion of the redevelopment work was marked by an official opening ceremony carried out by the council chairman, Councillor Pat Smith.
The new facilities at Riverside have allowed the school to cater for children with more severe and complex needs, in line with the two other special schools in the East Riding. This enables the local authority to have three area special schools, giving parents and children more choice, and the potential to reduce travelling time from the Goole area.
The redevelopment is part of the council’s strategic review of special educational needs across the East Riding, which will include all three of its special schools.
The first of these was the £7m redevelopment of Kings Mill Special School in Driffield in 2016. The next will be the start of work on rebuilding St Anne’s School on a new site in Anlaby, which is due to be completed in September 2021.
Andrew Hall, headteacher of Riverside School, said: “The staff and pupils are all really grateful to the local authority for providing us with this fabulous new building and superb facilities. Our children are already benefitting from the excellent resources the school now has, and many of them have commented on how much better it is to learn in this new environment.
“The pupils have had their own involvement too, through working with key staff to develop the areas outside the buildings and sharing their ideas to improve our environmental area. This will enrich the curriculum further, with an emphasis on outdoor learning for all classes and offer opportunities to learn about horticulture and animal management.”
East Riding of Yorkshire Council Leader Councillor Richard Burton said: “I am delighted that we have been able to provide these fantastic new facilities at Riverside School, which will benefit some of our more vulnerable children and young people.
“Our special schools do a wonderful job and it is only right that they have the best possible facilities to meet the needs of the children and their families.”