THIS is the first glimpse of what a top Fylde school could look like if a controversial merger goes ahead.
The United Schools Church Trust (UCST) has released images of what it hopes the grounds of St Annes school King Edward and Queen Mary VII school (KEQMS) will look like if its merger with South Shore’s Arnold School goes ahead.
The scheme - due to go ahead in September - is currently the subject of an appeal by disgruntled parents, but UCST are pressing ahead with a planning application to enhance large swathes of the Clifton Drive South site.
More than £6m will be spent on the new Arnold KEQMS School (AKS), which will include a brand new two-storey junior school building, a multi-use games area and a new sports block with fitness suite.
Arnold’s current headmaster Jim Keefe, who will lead the new school, told The Gazette: “UCST will be investing in excess of £6.2m in AKS so we have a building and facilities that match our aspirations for an outstanding school on the Fylde.
“The proposals for how we wish to use this investment are currently going through the planning process, but among our priorities are fantastic new facilities for sports and the performing arts as well as a dedicated building for our nursery, infant and junior schools.
“We’ll also be refurbishing and refreshing the existing classrooms and facilities throughout the school.
“At the KEQMS site, AKS will have beautiful and inspiring surroundings and this investment will bring the building up to the standard of the best 21 Century schools.”
As well as the new buildings, UCST’s plan for the school includes extensive refurbishment which will result in a new Learning Resource Centre, a new sixth form centre, and new classrooms, music and drama spaces.
The planning application will be decided by Fylde Council but has already been discussed by St Annes Town Council, who made no comment on the proposals.
Although the schools officially merge in September, all the pupils will not be housed on the same site until the following year, when building work is complete.
The No To The Takeover group had their appeal against the merger heard by first-tier tribunal last month and are waiting to hear the outcome.