A CONSTRUCTION company has teamed up with business partners to transform an area of a North-East primary school into a magical “teaching garden”.

Staff at Corporation Road Junior School, in Darlington, have described the project led by ISG, and supported by the Darlington Cares organisation, as “amazing”.

ISG is the principal design and build contractor for DB Symmetry which has successfully delivered a giant 1.5m square feet distribution facility on the outskirts of Darlington during a 65-week construction period.

While in the final stages of that landmark project, ISG also wanted to carry out a community scheme with the help of key partners.

After a project presentation to the local Chamber of Commerce and subsequent talks with Darlington Cares, the company embarked on a mission to significantly improve the learning environment at Corporation Road Junior School.

ISG representatives met Headteacher, Ann Pringleton, to talk through the school’s ideas about making a disused outside area safe and turning it into a teaching garden.

Old play equipment stumps were removed, and timber structures taken down to provide access for a small excavator during the six-week summer holidays.

Ground workers Kiernan and Applebridge then repaired the tarmac areas, recycled the old timber structure to be used as raised planters, built a fire-pit, and laid artificial grass.

Meanwhile, teaching staff volunteers removed equipment from an old stable block to allow a team of painters from NCS to decorate the walls and freshen up white handrails.

Weatherite installed a glazed screen system with safety glass to create an extra undercover teaching space, and MechFS will be installing solar powered lighting.

Steel contractor Severfield UK provided a new greenhouse, which will enable pupils to grow, cook and eat their own food, as well as providing an all-weather “oasis”.

ISg Project Director Richard Miles said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to make a positive difference for the children and teaching staff of the school, and we look forward to seeing the new space grow and mature in the future.”

Mr Miles thanked the ISG supply chain partners for helping the school to realise a dream.

Corporation Road headteacher Mrs Pringleton said: “It’s amazing. The next step is to plant trees, fill the planters, and sort out the classrooms, so it can become an outside working space.

“We’re going to put bird boxes up, bug hotels, and make it a living environment for the children.

“Lots of our children don’t have gardens, so we want this to be their garden. I’d like to thank ISG for making all this possible, as well as Darlington Cares for all their support.”

Darlington Cares Director Seth Pearson said: “It’s heart-warming to see the progress. It will make such a massive difference. We’re already thinking of ways we can help enrich things and bring other organisations on board – so watch this space!”

Before and after – see below…