School Library Bus Steers Kids Towards Reading!

June 17th, 2019

Question: How many tins of paint are needed to paint a double-decker bus? 

Well, Peterborough store now know the answer, after taking part in a fantastic community project to turn a double-decker into a school library! 

With student numbers having almost doubled in size in recent years, Baston CE Primary School in Baston, Lincolnshire, was struggling to provide an adequate library space for its burgeoning school. With no alternative indoor space available, headteacher Rebecca Mills tasked their PTA with trying to solve the issue. 

"The idea for the library bus came about in September 2018," said PTA chair Emma Bush. "After much research and visiting three schools who’ve used buses for outside space, we contacted Stagecoach East Midlands. They kindly donated an 02 plate double-decker." The task of renovating the bus then began.

Emma visited Brewers in Peterborough for advice and was put in touch with sales rep John Thorogood. John visited the bus, which had been installed at a local farm while the renovations took place, and specified the paint for the job. 

The school had opted for a woodland theme to tie in with the bus’ final location alongside a coppice, and their forest-school roots, so Zinsser Allcoat Exterior tinted to Woodland Fern was used to paint the outside.  Bedec MSP was used for inside. 

"I advised a Class O product, it essentially being a classroom," said John. "Bedec MSP has test documents for Class O and was also the obvious choice with all the different surfaces inside." Tor and Bedec kindly offered discounts on their products, and all materials were donated by Brewers. 

The ambitious renovation has been achieved through the support of local tradespeople – from upholsterers, to decorators, to glazers – and parent volunteers, so has been wonderful in bringing the community together. The PTA have also been very fortunate to secure external financial support. Their cumulative efforts have helped raise a whooping £36,000.    

The finished bus will be used for quiet time, one-to-one sensory learning and after-school clubs. It will also be a place where elderly people and children come together in community reading social activities. 

"The space the bus provides will have such a positive impact on the school and will help encourage the children to love to read," said Emma.  "I think the best seat in the bus might be the driver’s seat. The children are going to love sitting there while reading and going off on the adventures in the book."

The renovations are now almost complete, with a grand unveiling scheduled for the beginning of July. 

"It’s a fabulous project to be involved with," said John, who will be attending the opening. "It just goes to show what can be achieved with a bit of imagination!"

And so how many tins paint are needed to paint a double-decker?

"Six 5 litres of Bedec MSP and six 5 litres of Zinsser Allcoat Exterior,’ said John. "There were some other small bits for inside also."

To find out more about the Baston library bus project, visit their Facebook page >>

‘It’s a fabulous project to be involved with, it just goes to show what can be achieved with a bit of imagination!’

John Thorogood