Willmott Dixon, which is building the new Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre in St Albans, has come to the aid of a local school after it lost its storage shed to cater for an extra class intake.

Prae Wood Primary School on Mayne Avenue has been without a shed since the summer after the previous one was dismantled to make way for a new classroom so the school could have an additional reception class at the start of term. As a consequence, the shed’s contents had to be stored by several parents while they waited for a replacement.

The high cost of a new specially built shed meant no replacement was likely in the near future. However, that all changed when Willmott Dixon stepped in and built a brand new shed for the school.

The company’s project director Simon Ramage, who is also overseeing Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre, explained, “We were approached by the school and its fundraising arm, the Prae Wood School Association (PWSA), to see if we could help solve their storage issue and we were delighted to. We are not a construction company that arrives in a community to build large projects and then moves on; we want to make an impact in that community and do things that genuinely leave a positive legacy for years to come.

“Getting involved gave us a chance to use our building skills to help solve what was an important issue for the school and seeing the excited faces on the pupils and teachers when they saw what we’d created was brilliant!”

Prae Wood head teacher Jackie Stephenson said, “I want to thank Willmott Dixon for their generous help in replacing the storage for the PWSA equipment, which is so useful in running their fundraising events. We are extremely grateful for their support.”

Hertfordshire-based Willmott Dixon was appointed in March by St Albans City and District Council to redevelop Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre. The project to replace the existing facility with a state-of-the-art new complex will finish in autumn next year.