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04 Nov 2015
Pupils from Westoe Crown Primary School in South Shields are perfecting their painting techniques and getting to grips with screwdrivers to help turn a retired bus into a vibrant and funky library for the school.
In March this year Stagecoach North East donated the 1995 Volvo Olympian double decker bus to the school who were desperately in need of a library. Since then, the young DIY’ers have been getting stuck in to give the bus a marvellous makeover, stripping out the bus and painting the exterior during the summer holidays.
The outside of the bus was painted with a range of vivid colours, with each year group being represented by a different colour. The remainder of the bus will be painted black and white in support of a well known local football club and also features a picture representation of the school’s arts and music festival ‘Westonbury’ in celebration of its 10th birthday. The pupils are now working on the designs for the external fascias.
Pupils and staff have also been involved in taking out the seats, with the youngsters taking the opportunity to learn all about flathead and Phillips screwdrivers and other tools of the DIY trade.
Members of the DIY Goldentime Library club who have helped with the project every Friday afternoon said: “We love working on the bus and it’s just the best lesson of the week. We really want to complete it so we can start using it as our very own library bus.”
Over the coming months, all those involved in the project will help to tackle the internal refit, as well as waterproofing, heating and lighting the bus and creating a library for many years to come.
Steve Price, Head Teacher at Westoe Crown Primary School, said: “With the help of some parents and lots of children we're probably about a third of the way in the conversion process and hope to finish by the end of summer next year.
“We have been able to cover some of our costs by selling the old bus seats, which has helped us to buy the paints. It has been a great project for the children to get involved in and they have absolutely loved it, becoming engineering stars and learning all about recycling of unwanted items and making things new. It’s really exciting and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in this community effort and hope they can come and celebrate the opening of the library next summer.”
Brian Sleightholme, Operations Manager for Stagecoach North East’s South Shields depot, said: “It is fantastic to see a retired bus being used in such an effective way and it means the vehicle can be used for many more years to come. It has also given the pupils a great opportunity to learn about ‘make do and mend’ as well as allowing them to have fun and be creative with colour and designs.”