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Pupils give dole office a facelift

A building which pupils helped to design is in line for Britain's most prestigious architectural award.

Pupils from Sparkenhoe primary, Leicester, worked with architects to transform an old dole office into a theatre and arts centre for the school and the local community. The T-shaped building, which is opposite the school, has been shortlisted for this year's Royal Institute of British Architects Award for Excellence.

The children worked with Ash Sakhula, an artist in residence and London-based architect, making models and painting pictures of what they wanted the building to look like. And their names and original designs have been incorporated into the floor and walls.

Sumiya Chouday, 11, said: "It's a brilliant place and I loved helping with the design."

David Mutumba, also 11, added: "Our Year 6 play is Macbeth. It'll be great to do it in our own theatre."

The pound;600,000 building was funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and took 14 months to complete.

Rupert Bagihole, Sparkenhoe's head, said: "This is a fantastic building.

The children totally threw themselves into the project with their designs and ideas."

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