The use of wood definitely has a calming effect
“The building is in as good a condition now as when it was put up five years ago.”
That’s how Zoe Crabb describes the Norwegian Log building that houses the busy Willow Bank Pre-School in Woodley, Reading that she manages. “Even now people coming in are so impressed. They like the feel of the wood and say it’s such an inviting environment.”
A far cry from the 25-year-old corrugated iron buildings that the pre-school had operated from. In 2010, with a successful fundraising campaign behind them, Zoe and her committee members came to Norwegian Log with just a sketch of their dream building.
“The Norwegian Log team helped us at every stage. They were able to take us from a rough drawing through to the finished architect’s plan, and they explained everything – from where the electrical sockets would be through to the roof tiles,” she said.
The finished toddler-friendly solid log building contains a welcoming main classroom, porch, office, quiet area, toilet facilities and a large kitchen. “Our staff love it and even though it has the same footprint as our old buildings, it seems so much bigger. The use of wood definitely has a calming effect. People would also say they loved the smell of the Norwegian log.”
To officially celebrate the new pre-school building, local MP Theresa May was invited to a special summer opening event. And when Norwegian Log heard the pre-school was on the look out for a small playhouse for its playground, the team stepped in and donated a scaled-down Wendy House version of the main building.
Five years on, 56 three to five-year-olds use the solid log pre-school building every weekday. “They so enjoy the space that it gives them,” concluded Zoe.