Rebuild hopes for crumbling schools

Proposals for standard design and (below) David Rogers of HLM Architects and Eddy Jackson, headteacher at Highfurlong School.
Proposals for standard design and (below) David Rogers of HLM Architects and Eddy Jackson, headteacher at Highfurlong School.
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THE headteacher of a crumbling school says his hopes for a new multi-million pound building are looking positive.

Highfurlong is one of four Blackpool schools which made it onto the Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) to receive cash for either re-building or re-modelling.

David Rogers of HLM Architects and Eddy Jackson, headteacher at Highfurlong School.

David Rogers of HLM Architects and Eddy Jackson, headteacher at Highfurlong School.

With cracks in the walls, water pipes eroding, a leaking roof and the building’s metal ties coming away from the walls, headteacher Eddy Jackson says the special educational needs school urgently needs to be re-built.

And he says he feels encouraged after architects visited the Blackpool Old Road school yesterday to carry out a feasibility study to assess the school’s needs.

Mr Jackson said: “We are part of a list of 261 schools earmarked for re-build or re-modelling work - our school has got some of the worst conditions.

“We have been working very hard with the council and we have been to Runcorn to the Department of Education office for a presentation about the scheme.

“From the tone of the presentation at Runcorn, I think it’s almost certain it’s going to be a re-build.

“We are very excited about it. After the feasibility study, they should appoint a contractor by 2013.”

The other Blackpool schools earmarked for the PSBP are Collegiate High School in Blackpool, Hawes Side Primary School in Marton, and Palatine Sports College in South Shore.

Chris Strange, community business manager at Hawes Side Primary, said he will be attending an education conference next month when the PSBP scheme will be discussed.

He said: “How much money we are getting and what we are getting is quite speculative. We only need the old part of the school to come down, we are not looking for a complete rebuild.”

All schools are set to be completed by June 2015.

The programme’s progress comes as the DoE revealed standard designs for schools which can be used as an aid if and when they are re-built across the country.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “The Education Funding Agency (EFA) will start working with all four schools in Blackpool this year.

“The EFA will visit them and work with them to assess their needs and determine the scope and timing of each building project.”

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