It has been a year since The Lodge Day Nursery was opened by Ipswich School as a high quality day care setting for children from three months to three years. In 2018 the school completed the renovation of the site in Ivry Street to become the home of the nursery.
The site was originally the Adjutant’s house from the former army barracks in Ipswich. Most recently it was a building owned by the NHS before lying empty for some time. Ipswich School purchased the building and since then has transformed it into a modern, vibrant nursery.
Ipswich School’s Estates team completely renovated the building over several months. This included, redesigning the internals of the building, removing walls, adding steels, building new stud walls, replacing ceilings creating new door openings. making the building fit for purpose. The house was completely re-wired for electricity, data, security and fire and the heating system was overhauled with new piping for hot water. Walls were stripped and re-plastered, with new doors and frames, kitchens and bathrooms fitted prior to redecoration. Externally, the brickwork was cleaned and gardens redesigned with new fencing, gates and artificial play grass. After the internal building work was complete, new carpets and floor coverings, curtains and soft furnishings were all installed turning the property into a superb new nursery.
Home from Home
Described as a ‘home-from-home’, The Lodge now boasts dedicated rooms for babies, including sleeping rooms with cots, and the older children have spacious rooms where they can play and develop, providing them with stimulating spaces to learn and grow in. There is a welcome area where parents can sit and wait for their children with coffee and biscuits, a water feature outside and a well-stocked library. Outside there is a decking area which is under cover so that children can play outdoors even when the weather is not so nice.
The astro turf garden has a sandpit and play equipment for children. There is even a specially designed ‘hedgehog lodge’, modelled on the Nursery’s Victorian exterior, to provide shelter for hedgehogs in the area and also a place for them to hibernate. The Lodge is helping the Suffolk Wildlife Trust make Ipswich the most hedgehog-friendly town in the UK with holes at the bottom of fences to allow hedgehogs to move around freely.
You can see some before and after photos here.
Since the launch, The Lodge has been very successful and seen numbers of children grow steadily in its first year. It is now almost at capacity and this month celebrated its first birthday with a delicious cake, singing and reading a favourite book ‘Happy Birthday Spot’. You can find more information by visiting www.lodgedaynursery.co.uk or calling 01473 282811 to book a tour around The Lodge and meet Hayley List, Nursery Manager.
Ipswich School has a record of developing facilities in and around Ipswich. As well as The Lodge, the school owns other buildings in Ivry Street, such as the purpose-built Prep School. In 2012 the school acquired what is now Ipswich School Sports Centre at Rushmere and turned it into one of the best hockey centres in the country. It is the home of Ipswich and East Suffolk Hockey Club and a number of other community groups.
In January 2019 the school confirmed that it has purchased the Anglesea Heights complex from Bupa. Anglesea Heights, an iconic building located at the top of Berners Street, and extending through to Ivry Street in Ipswich, was formerly a care home run by Bupa. It was previously East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, which opened in 1836. The purchase of Anglesea Heights is a further example of the school’s activity in the area and reflects its commitment to the town and the local community.