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£2.4m grant given to revamp school
2:30pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
A SCHOOL is celebrating after being awarded £2.4million to build a new sixth form block and revamp the existing science wing.
Westcliff High School for Boys wants permission for a modern two-storey sixth form building because pupils are currently being taught in a basement, while meeting socially inaroom above the sports pavilion. The school has separately applied to Southend Council for planning permission to revamp its Fifties science block, which is in such poor state there are concerns over health and safety.
The high-achieving school, which got a 99.6 per cent overall pass rate for this year’s A-levels and where nearly a quarter of all pupils got at least one A*, has now submitted two planning applications.
A statement told how currently a converted study area in the basement can only accommodate 77 teenagers.
There is a lack of an adequate common room area or toilet and changing facilities for girls who have been taken on within the last four years.
A statement with the applications said: “The school has been working with architects to review the use of the site, and a new two-storey sixth form block has been proposed, to incorporate sixth form study, social space and at least three additional classrooms.
“The area in the sports pavilion, currently used as sixth form social space, is expected to be converted to provide toilet and changing facilities for girls, and the basement area to be converted to provide additional classrooms.”
It added the science block had significant roof leaks in laboratories, rotting wood panels and damp problems. Electrical supplies needed updating and there were also areas of asbestos.
Proposals involve creating a modern exterior to the building while dealing with the work needed inside.
A previous application for a new sixth form block was rejected by the council in 2012.
Simon Fisher, the school’s planning agent, said: “This is a completely new application.”
The school now faces a race against time.
In order to qualify for the Education Funding Agency cash, work must begin by the end of the year
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