New school vision unveiled in Woodbridge
A SUFFOLK primary school has become so worn out that it would cost more than £1million to bring it into the 21st Century, a meeting heard last night .Suffolk County Council wants New Street School, in Woodbridge, to be replaced by a modern development with on-site playing fields, a netball court, swimming pool and nursery in Pytches Road, Melton.
By Richard Smith
A SUFFOLK primary school has become so worn out that it would cost more than £1million to bring it into the 21st Century, a meeting heard last night .
Suffolk County Council wants New Street School, in Woodbridge, to be replaced by a modern development with on-site playing fields, a netball court, swimming pool and nursery in Pytches Road, Melton.
Details of the school were unveiled last night at a special presentation before selected guests by the county council and the developer G & E Woodbridge Consortium Limited.
The new school was hailed as a golden opportunity for the parents, pupils and staff – and the county warned that if Woodbridge residents did not like the proposals they could be taken elsewhere to benefit another town.
The town would be given a new library in the old school building and it would include an area for teenagers, more books and seats, a toilet for the disabled, two interview rooms, refreshments and zones for different uses.
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Around the old playground would be built a variety of housing styles ranging from a one-bedroom flat to a large family home. There would be some public parking.
The new school and library would be funded by the developers who will have to make their money by selling off the new housing. The current library will be turned into a health complex.
The proposed timetable is to build the school first with the old school moving there in September 2005 at the earliest. The developer would then convert the old school building into the library. There are four planning applications and it is expected they will be given a decision by the district council in May.
Kevin Connolly, New Street headteacher, said: "We are a successful school and it is not a bad thing to want to be better."
Pauline Hammond chair of governors, said the present school was riddled with faults. The classrooms were overcrowded and poorly heated; the central hall was very small; temporary buildings were past their sell-by date; there was one toilet for 14 staff and a split site meant children did not play as much sport as the school wanted.
She said the governors had looked at numerous ways to improve the schools future and the only option was to move.
She added: "The staff cannot find an educational reason why they should remain in the current school."