After the questionable excitement of full council yesterday it was good to get back out in the community today, I took an early lunch break to attend the opening of the new Whitely Park nursery. It was a great occasion and it was excellent to have the Mayor, John Ennis (who is - as well as being lead councillor for Education and children's services - is a former chair of governors), representatives of the Rotary and Lions clubs, RBC staff and local vicar Rev'd Vernon Orr all attend to show their support and be publicly thanked for the work that has gone in over a number of years to get this built. All 3 of Whitley's councillors were also there, and we enjoyed catching up with people and it was very kind of the school to pay tribute our colleague Jim Hanley who was always so passionately supportive of both the school and the young people of Whitley. The school have also put a bench up in memory of him in the school grounds.
Personally I was totally blown away by the nursery facilities. I have literally not seen another nursery building that comes close to the quality and welcoming feel. I would imagine that the children would be looking foward to Monday. We took a few photos and more will go up on Whitleynews.org but thought I'd put this one up of Kelly Edwards for now:
The council's press release is below:
Parents and pupils of Whitley Park Primary and Nursery School will join the Mayor of Reading to formally open the school's new nursery facilities on Wednesday (Oct 19).
The new 'early years' building includes four new learning spaces, a speech and language facility, multi-use professional space, a conference room and an early years library, as well as an outdoors play and learning area.
Wednesday's opening is the culmination of years of planning and hard work byschool staff and Reading Borough Council. The old nursery building has been demolished and the front of the school also has a new face following the transformation, designed by architects from Hampshire County Council and created by builders Morgan Sindell.
Whitely Park Head Ann Tanner said: 'Everyone at Whitley Park is thrilled to have this new space. Children, parents, staff and Governors are overwhelmingly delighted with the new building and we are thrilled to provide such great provision for our youngest children in the heart of Whitley. It is a dream come true.'
John Ennis, Reading's Lead Councillor for Education and Children's Services, said: 'The new building will provide fantastic facilities for young children in Whitley. Theschool already provides a fantastic start for young children and these new facilities will only enhance that.'