PROJECT UPDATE: The former Arnold School in Lytham Road, South Shore

Flooring has been laid at the new Armfield Academy, in Lytham Road, South Shore
Flooring has been laid at the new Armfield Academy, in Lytham Road, South Shore

Work on new school picks up pace before September opening

What’s happening?

The former Arnold School in Lytham Road, South Shore, is being turned into a state-of-the-art academy named after the late Blackpool FC legend, ex-England captain – and old Arnoldian – Jimmy Armfield.

The Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT) will run the school, which is paid for by government cash, and will open in September with a cohort of 160 Year Seven pupils, 60 reception pupils, and a nursery class.

READ MORE: After 120 years, Arnold School is reduced to rubble

What’s the latest?

The classrooms in the south buildings, off Arnold Avenue, have been wired up for interactive whiteboards, while the plumbing has been done, suspended ceilings fitted, as well as overhead radiators.

All the classrooms and open spaces are now having vinyl or carpet laid.

The south buildings are set to be finished by September, with some of the old buildings being saved.

A new three-storey block on the north side is set to be finished by next year, while the design and technology block, the Memorial Hall, and the Sports Hall will all be refurbished.

Demolition of the main three-storey block of the old school was finished earlier this year. A car park has also been built.

READ MORE: Memories of Blackpool school days gone-by

What else has changed recently?

The dining room ceiling and walls have had their first coat of paint, while the sports hall and Memorial Hall walls have already been plastered, ahead of their opening date of next September.

And the main north building’s steel frame is getting bigger and bigger by the day, with inside brick walls being built – also for September 2019.

Have pupils met yet?

The all-through school’s inaugural intake met in April at the Pleasure Beach’s Globe Theatre.

They also got to meet their new teachers, with executive principal Chris Lickiss telling them he planned to maintain the ‘values and high standards’ of Jimmy Armfield, who died earlier this year.