A cash-strapped primary school which cannot afford a planned extension is making two new classrooms – from a double decker BUS.
Parc Eglos School, near Helston in Cornwall, bought the vehicle on eBay and will hold science and cookery lessons on board.
The school had planned a classroom extension but could not find the £15,000 needed.
So Headteacher Brett Dye came up with idea of buying the double decker bus and converting it into a two-tiered classroom.
He found a suitable bus on eBay and then travelled 400 miles to Lancashire to collect the £3,500 vehicle and drove it back himself.
The yellow 1983 Leyland Titan is now parked in the school grounds and will see the lower level converted into a science lab with a home economics classroom above.
Mr Dye said school’s 400 pupils will be involved in deciding how each classroom – which will hold up to 12 children – will look.
They will be connected to the mains electricity, gas and water supplies and will include hobs, sinks, benches and taps.
Mr Dye said: ”A classroom extension would have cost £15,000 or more which was just not going to be possible.
”Here we have found as creative solution that keeps the cost down while inspiring the children with a fun and unusual learning environment.
”It’s good to inspire the children, be imaginative and very resourceful. It’s a lot cheaper to have a bus, and I just thought it would be a wonderful thing for the school.
”I had the idea of using a bus during the summer holidays, but I had to wait until this term to see if the PTA would back it.
”When we decided to go for it, I spotted the advert for this bus on eBay for a reasonable price and bought it.”
The bus, a 1983 Leyland Titan, has passed health and safety checks and is fitted with three exits, including a fire escape.
It is parked where a mobile classroom formerly stood, so former power and water supplies can be used.
Mr Dye said planning permission was not required, as the vehicle is currently mobile.
The hard-up school is now calling on the local community to help raise money and donate their time to help convert the the bus.
He added: ”The whole community is fund-raising and offering services such as carpentry to help us carry out the conversion.
”We had a Grandparents Day at the school where I told them our proposal and they were so taken with the idea they all donated money towards the project.”
Mr Dye said that the amount of space inside the vehicle is deceptive and that there is even storage space for design technology projects to be stored.
The scheme, which is hoped to be completed in a few months time, is supported by the MP for St Ives Andrew George.
He said: ”What we’re looking for is these kind of creative solutions. There will always be limited resources in public services anyway.
”Schools like Parc Eglos coming forward with creative ideas like this is something we all need to be looking at.”
Bobbie, one of the school’s pupils said: ”Its just so amazing, because we’ve never had anything like this before.
”We’re the only ones to have a cooking bus. It’s just going to be so great for other children.”
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