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The history of Brookmans Park School
by Lilian Caras - First published 1983 (Revised May 2000)

Chapter 6
School extended and swimming pool built

Meanwhile, the close interest and support of parents for the schools which still exists today, was very much in evidence in 1958. Three national newspapers, The Star (12 March 1958), The Evening News (7 May 1958) and The Standard (11 March 1958) all reported the efforts of parents not only to raise the 500 necessary but also actually to build a swimming pool themselves. The newspapers recorded that a parent, Mr T A King, designed the pool, which it was hoped would be ready by the summer term 1958.

Overcrowding Continues

Obviously, the new extension helped to relieve the overcrowding-but the growth of Brookmans Park itself was continually putting pressure for more places at the school. This led the Managers of the 'school to write to the Mid-Herts Divisional Executive. Their letter is recorded in the Minutes of the Committee held on 14 May 1959:

"A substantial amount of new building has been taking place at Brookmans Park in the last two years and it is still not completed. Additional building has twice been undertaken at this school to meet the slow but steady increase in numbers and the following figures showing the number of children in each age group suggest that an additional classroom is again called for:

Age 11 = 24
Age 10 = 33
Age 9 = 52
Age 8 = 49
Age 7 = 58
Age 6 = 48
Age 5 = 57
Total = 321

"It is estimated that the numbers an roll from now an will fluctuate between approximately 280 in the September term and 320 in the summer term. "

"This would therefore demand eight classrooms. The school has seven classrooms, Hall and Dining Room. At the moment, both the Hall and the entrance passage are used as classrooms. Given eight classrooms, the school could be so organised that it would not be necessary to use the Hall and entrance passage. The Managers therefore recommend that an additional classroom be provided in a Minor Works Programme".

On 18 February 1960 the Committee recommended that as a "matter of urgency" two additional classrooms should be included in the 1961-63 Minor Works Programme. Drawings ware prepared in 1961 by architects, Welch & Lander of Portman Square, London.

On the 15 May 1961 Hertfordshire County Council Education Primary Sub-Committee discussed the scheme:

"The intake into this school now averages fifty children a year and provision must be made on a permanent basis for age groups of this size. At present the school contains seven classrooms, it has a summer term roll of 350; three classes are having to be hold in the staff room and corridor spaces."

Plans have been prepared for a two-class extension and the estimated cost amounts to 11,000.

Amounts of 1,282 for professional fees and 803 for furniture and equipment would also be needed. The Committee recommended all three amounts of expenditure.

In September 1961, the Minister of Education again imposed severe spending restrictions, this time on the Minor Capital Programme 1961-63. By December 1961 it was clear to the County that they were in danger of exceeding their 1961-63 allocation. They were forced to prune their programme. Fortunately, once again, the two new classrooms at Brookmans Park Primary escaped the cuts.

Work started in 1961 by the builders Crambe & Dean of Hatfield. The classrooms were used for the first time in April 1962.

Crook Bros. of Ware built the last addition to the school in 1966 at a cost of 6,500. The architects were Garald Lacoste & Partners of George Street, W.l.

Thus the end came to a struggle which lasted twenty years.

Chapter 7 - Hertfordshire School Building Programme a Success
Index - The history of Brookmans Park School

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