A NEW school in Leeds is helping to improve the quality of education for pupils with autistic spectrum conditions.
The Lighthouse School in Cookridge has opened following a £2.1m investment that has seen the Robert Arthington building, on the site of the former Cookridge Hospital, completely restored and redesigned to accommodate 50 pupils aged between 11 and 19.
The school was designed by Brewster Bye Architects, Strategic Team Group was the project’s lead contractor, Turner & Townsend project managed the development and Adept Civil and Structural Consulting Engineers provided structural and civil engineering services.
Katie Parlett, the chair of trustees and governors at Lighthouse School, said: “We first began exploring the Robert Arthington building’s potential about three years ago, when it was just a derelict shell, and we immediately knew it could become a wonderful home for the school.
“It’s fantastic to see the school up and running and it’s already making a significant difference to learning outcomes and student wellbeing, due to all the specialist teaching areas that have been custom designed to match the vision and ethos of the school.”
Mark Henderson, a director at Brewster Bye Architects, said: “Every aspect of this school was designed with its students in mind and we invited teachers to contribute to key rooms such as the science, well-being and food technology departments to ensure they are highly functional throughout.
“The building is in a conservation area so there were planning constraints, but throughout the project we strived to create a high quality space, full of natural light, which takes advantage of its south facing aspect and maximises the building’s potential, whilst remaining true to its heri- tage.”
Richard Parker, a director at Adept, added: “This building had been empty for many years so it was in really bad condition, which made it a challenging project from an engineering perspective.
“However, it immediately became apparent that we were creating something very special.”