Work is set to start on new resort school

Getting ready: Carillion site manager Mike Gleaves (left) and Deputy Head teacher John Topping (right)
Getting ready: Carillion site manager Mike Gleaves (left) and Deputy Head teacher John Topping (right)
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Bosses behind the multi-million pound redevelopment of a Blackpool school have assured neighbours they will keep disruption to a minimum as they prepare to start work.

Collegiate High School is set to be demolished to make way for the new Aspire Academy building, a merger with Bispham High School, and also neighbouring Highfurlong Special School.

The re-build, expected to cost around £14m, will begin on Friday and is expected to be complete by summer 2015.

Now construction bosses have promised neighbours living close to the Blackpool Old Road school, which backs on to Garstang Road West, they will “maintain excellent relationships” throughout the work.

Richard Shattock, from construction firm Carillion, said: “Throughout this time we want to ensure that we cause the minimum disruption to our neighbours and 
the public and ensure everyone is aware of what is happening on the project and its progress.”

Over the next three months builders will erect site hoardings, signboards and site accommodation before demolishing the existing 52-year-old building.

They will also begin the foundation work of the new building and form on-site parking provision.

The construction firm has also pledged to keep traffic from building vehicles to a minimum. Mr Shattock added: “We aim to keep existing roads surrounding the site clear with the site entrance being designed so traffic entering the site can pull off the public highway.”

The build is part of the Government’s £2.4bn Priority School Building Programme to rebuild 261 of the schools in England in the worst condition.

Collegiate’s current pupils have already joined their new counterparts at Bispham High’s Bispham Road campus.

Aspire Academy’s 900 pupils and Highfurlong Special School’s 50 pupils, will share a grand reception area.

It is also anticipated that when the work is completed both schools will open up some of their facilities for use by the surrounding community.

Work starting is a major milestone for school

John Topping, Deputy Head teacher at the new Aspire Academy said the work about to start on the Collegiate site was a major milestone for the new school.

He said: “Work is getting underway this week after being delayed slightly by the asbestos found on the site.

“This is a major milestone in the history of the new school.

“During the day the site will be a buzzing academy and in the evening the community will be offered the chance to benefit from this excellent learning tool in north Blackpool.

“I hope local residents find it reassuring Carillion has committed to providing a newsletter to keep the community up to date on the project.”