Green light for Maryport school rebuild
Last updated at 21:28, Thursday, 08 April 2010
WORK to significantly rebuild Maryport’s Netherhall School is likely to start in 2012.
Keith Little, chairman of the secondary school’s board of governors, said it was delighted at the announcement this week that £61.5 million was to be spent on seven schools in West Cumbria, including a substantial rebuild and remodelling of Netherhall and a new secondary school in Workington.
Mr Little said: “This will take education into the future on the west coast of Cumbria,”
Brenda Wile, county council head of service for education, confirmed that substantial parts of Netherhall School needed to be rebuilt, as it had been added to several times in the last 30 years and had become a “mish mash” of buildings.
She added: “Certainly a large proportion of the school will be completely rebuilt. Some areas such as the community areas which have been recently developed are likely to be kept.
“We won’t know the details until we do further surveys.”
She added that the work would be done in stages to minimise disruption to pupils and staff.
West Cumbria last month missed out on funding under the Building Schools for the Future programme, but Workington MP Tony Cunningham and Copeland MP Jamie Reed worked in recent weeks with education minister Ed Balls and the county council to tweak the bid so that the area could get the money.
Mr Little, a county councillor, said that he and Netherhall headteacher David Sibbit had also worked closely with the county council, Mr Cunningham and Mr Reed to make it happen.
He added: “We have to thank the MPs for the work they have done.
“They worked tirelessly over Easter trying to get this deal done.
“I heard about it on Sunday night and immediately contacted David. He is thrilled.
“It looked for a while as though nothing was going to be done but now we will get the school our children deserve.”
The project will be the biggest single investment in the county’s education system.
Mr Little said: “This is not just a handout.
“It is to meet the educational needs of young people within this deprived area of the west coast.”
Work on phase one is to start in 2012, and will be done in stages, with final completion in 2015.
The council now hopes to attract funding for further phases to revamp all the county’s secondary schools.
The rest of West Cumbria, including Beacon Hill School in Aspatria, would be included in the second phase.
First published at 19:29, Thursday, 08 April 2010
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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