End of term marks start of £4m revamp

Current pupils at the school with headteacher Sue Diver, teacher Lesley Lawrence and former pupil Allyson Hoyle outside the old buildings.

Current pupils at the school with headteacher Sue Diver, teacher Lesley Lawrence and former pupil Allyson Hoyle outside the old buildings.

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CHILDREN and staff leaving school at the end of term bid a fond farewell to sections of the building for the last time.

An exciting new phase of history is beginning at Mereside Primary School as work on a £4m building project gets underway.

The Langdale Road School was created from the buildings of two church schools, St Paul’s and St Wilfrid’s.

But after more than 60 years of use, the 1950’s buildings are no longer fit for purpose.

And when the ambitious project is complete, only a tower block from the old structure will remain.

Soon a state-of-the-art circular shaped school will sit on the site. And headteacher Sue Diver is thrilled to see work begin.

She said: “This is such an exciting time at Mereside and we cannot wait to see the finished building.

“It is sad to say goodbye to the old school hall and some of the classrooms which have been such a huge part of our history.

“They had become dilapidated however and felt a bit cold and damp

“The facilities we will be able to offer our children when the school is finished will be absolutely fantastic.”

Work on the new project started in January when workmen moved in and began preparing for the ambitious scheme.

Cash has come from the Government’s Primary Capital Programme. The school will grow from one form entry to two to allow for Blackpool’s expanding primary population in the coming years.

Work is being done in stages so parts of the old school will be demolished and new areas built so children can be relocated before the next part is demolished.

It will eventually boast a new hall and kitchen, a bright and airy early years unit as well as new key Stage 1 and 3 classrooms.

The rooms will be designed to allow children to work in smaller break out areas where they can work quietly or receive one to one teaching.

Mrs Diver added: “Togetherness has been a huge theme in the design of our new school.

“Parts of the school were quite spread out over our site but the new design will bring us all much closer.

“If everything goes to plan, it will all be complete by Easter 2013.”

A daily blog of the development is being posted on the school site so children can keep a record of history being made.

But the loss of the old school hall has brought about feelings of nostalgia in long standing staff members and former pupils.

Allyson Hoyle said: “I remember being here as a young girl and having assembly in what was the old church hall.

“I have such happy memories of being a pupil at Mereside and I am a bit sad to see the building be demolished.

“I’m very pleased for the children however who deserve a lovely and modern new school for the next chapter in Mereside’s history.”