Stubbington Study Centre celebrated its 80th anniversary and a new era in bringing learning to life for generations to come, with the opening of new £1.5 million sustainable accommodation.
Since the 1930s, thousands of children have enjoyed their very first residential trip at this seaside home from home, owned and managed by Hampshire County Council.
Shelter building, seashore walks, pond dipping and much more are among their educational and fun adventures.
Now there’s even more in store, thanks to the major investment from the County Council.
The Centre is more accessible to pupils with disabilities and special needs and, by giving each school group separate space, offers staff more scope to tailor their group’s activities to their children’s needs, whether it’s sport, nature, survival skills, team challenges, or arts and crafts.
Better insulation, solar panels and very low energy lighting have been installed to make the buildings more sustainable and reduce running costs
The improved facilities were designed and implemented by the County Council’s in-house Property Services who specialise in educational facilities.
The Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, unveiled a plaque and commemorative trees were planted (Oak, Holly, Willow, Ash and Beech) at the special celebration on 22 January. Mr Atkinson said:
“It is such an exciting project and it is wonderful for me to know that Hampshire County Council is so supportive of outdoor education and the general principle of enabling young people to engage with the changing environment. In an age where our young people have many distractions, whether through the internet, social media or video games, many of us still believe in the inherent power of engaging with the natural environment.”
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education Cllr Peter Edgar, said:
“Stubbington Study Centre offers invaluable opportunities for children to really engage with the natural world, and now, with this County Council investment, it will continue to give young people a unique ‘away from home’ experience in the future while making it more sustainable.”
“This is yet another example of education in each of its forms, both inside and outside the classroom. With these sorts of facilities quite often having to close, in Hampshire we are growing these facilities and this refurbished accommodation block is a vote of confidence in children’s education.
“This occasion will be remembered by all present as it captured perfectly the special atmosphere of the centre and what it has achieved in giving young people a life changing experience over the past 80 years.”
County Council Chairman Cllr Colin Davidovitz, said: “The buildings have been here for many years, but for some time have required improvement. We believe that supporting out door and cultural activities offer really powerful experiences for young people. Hampshire County Council have worked to make this a reality for Stubbington Study centre.”