Schools have fun up-cycling Stevenage’s dark underpasses

Valley School pupils Callum Levy, Ethan Corkin, Becky Biggs, Tanisha Bailey and Cllr Simon Speller d

Valley School pupils Callum Levy, Ethan Corkin, Becky Biggs, Tanisha Bailey and Cllr Simon Speller during the underpass takeover to celebrate the new town's 70th anniversary. - Credit: Archant

Stevenage’s often dark and somewhat intimidating 1960s underpasses were given a makeover on Monday when hundreds of school pupils got creative to brighten them up and get the community take ownership of them.

The project is part of a drive being spearheaded by Stevenage Borough Council in partnership with Stevenage schools.

Pupils from Woolenwick School took over their nearby underpass, sold cakes and set up memory jars and many other activities. Every school year was represented.

Lonsdale School pupils handed out flyers about their Christmas fair and talked to people about their underpasses to help boost their social skills.

Marriotts pupils put on dance displays and stuck post-it notes around the underpass with comments from people using it.

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Barnwell School pupils cleaned and smartened up an underpass near their school and Valley School pupils took over no fewer than four underpasses and decorated them with dragons, wind chimes, graffiti stands and other art projects.

Other schools involved included Almond Hill, Barclay and Stevenage Education Support centre..

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Jane Shipley who has been co-ordinating the project, said: “There has been a big push to do something to mark Stevenage’s 70th anniversary and the council asked me if I could talk to all the primary schools and secondary schools. The teachers came up with the idea of doing something with arts and crafts in the underpasses and I felt it was a good health and safety message as the thing about underpasses is they can be seem as quite scary places.

“It’s been a really great first step to something that will be even bigger next year.

“The schools who took part absolutely loved it.

“Every school that took part said we should do it more often.”

Jane says she hopes to encourage businesses to sponsor some of the projects. This might allow the decoration of the underpasses to become a more permanent fixture.

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