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14 May 2010, 06:00
A building that's shaped like the wing of a plane is going to be built for school children on the Isle of Sheppey.
It'll replace temporary classrooms at Eastchurch Primary school after planners decided to give it the go ahead.
The building is expected to cost £4.3million to build and is scheduled to be finished in time for lessons to be taught there in September 2011.
The building, which will include solar panels, has been designed like a wing because the island was home to the world's first aircraft factory.
Sarah Hohler, cabinet member for Children, Families and Education at Kent County Council, said: "This will be a great school building for Sheppey. Kent County Council and the architects have been working hard to design an outstanding building, and take onboard the history of the isle. This will provide the opportunity for local schooling for children in Warden and Leysdown, who currently have to travel long distances across the Island to school."
Architect Rob Page said Sheppey was steeped in aviation history. He said: "The new primary school has captured the imagination of the local residents. The area’s heritage as the birth place of British aviation, where Winston Churchill learnt to fly, inspired us to create the iconic airplane wing that gives the islanders a building of merit that is firmly rooted to its location and history.
"The children and staff of Eastchurch Primary school have been involved too. In the design workshops held at the school the children said that they were very proud that their existing school was the first in Kent to become an Eco-school. The children were very keen that their new school should be same.
"With this in mind the design has been developed to allow for the building itself to be used as a teaching tool for environmental issues. Materials, techniques and technologies have been chosen that can visually inform and teach the pupils about both their indoor and outdoor environments."
Headteacher Pauline Shipley added: "I am delighted the plan for our new school building has been approved and I know that the whole school community, children, parents, staff and governors, will be very excited. We hope that the school will become one of the focal points for the local community and become a building that can be enjoyed by all."