A PRIMARY school has started a massive upcycle project to create a quirky new school library and wellbeing hub – made from old train tracks and carriages.
Staff at Kirk Merrington Primary School in Spennymoor, County Durham were absolutely delighted after acquiring disused railway carriages last month.
The school had appealed for help after a surge in pupil numbers meant they had to turn one of their old libraries into a classroom and move their books onto shelves in the corridors.
But now, the school is set to have the quirkiest library in the country after their new iconic purple and yellow carriages were delivered to the school two weeks ago.
Network rail volunteers carried out ground work in order to install a section of train track, sleepers and ballast to support the carriages.
The school has set up a Go Fund Me fundraising page in order to raise £10,000 to pay for the carriages themselves and help jazz up the inside into a literary lounge for the pupils.
So far, they have raised over £5,000 but hope to smash their targets so they can get to work on renovating the inside of the library.
Nicola Murray, Headteacher at Kirk Merrington Primary School, said: “We are very excited about this project and the creation of an amazing and exciting learning environment for the children to ‘Dare to Dream’ and re-engage with their love of reading.
“We are looking to repurpose our school library furniture to have relaxed seating as well as keeping some of the original carriage seating and tables.
“We also think our teachers can be creative too in their lessons in history, geography and science as we are a region that is steeped in railway history.”
The carriages were acquired from a seller who sold disused train carriages, but volunteers have helped source the tracks and equipment to get them put in place.
Over recent months, the primary school documented the process of acquiring their new library on Facebook – showing the grounds being dug up and tracks being installed.
The school children were excited to see the first carriage arrive three weeks ago.
And two weeks ago, the library was finally ready to renovate after the final carriageway arrived and was secured into place.
The area will also be revamped into a wellbeing hub for the children who will have their own dressing up area where they can act out their favourite book characters.
Mick Hodgson, Route Operations Manager for Network Rail’s North and East route, said: “When I heard about the school’s plans, I knew our teams could help. I’m so proud of them for getting involved and volunteering their skills.
“This project means Kirk Merrington Primary School will have a library again and it will provide space for additional learning activities for many years to come.
“We really enjoyed being a part of this amazing project and we’re looking forward to seeing the transformation.”
The school posted various photographs of their new library on Facebook, attracting comments from impressed social media users.
Joan Lidster wrote: “Absolutely brilliant. Children will really enjoy using the extra facilities.”
Tracey Kennedy said: “Brilliant the children will be so excited.”
Christopher Beaumont wrote: “This is fantastic.”
And Martyn Pearce said: “How cool is that?!”
Headteacher Nicola added: “We would like to thank Mick Hodgson and Network Rail for their support with this project, as without them we would not be in a position to create something special for our children at Kirk Merrington.”
The GoFundMe page can be found at: https://gf.me/u/ymhvim