Revealed: How new secondary school at former Alderman Blaxill site in Colchester could look
- Credit: Essex County Council
Essex County Council has released the CGIs of the new facility, which is set to be built on the site of the former Alderman Blaxill school in Paxman Avenue.
The council is holding a consultation on the final plans later this month, where it hopes residents will give the proposals the thumbs up.
Lyn Barton, (Lib Dem) ward councillor for Shrub End has campaigned for a school on the site for years.
She said: “I like the design. It is modern, fit for purpose and blends well into the surroundings.
“I am very excited by the plans and know that residents welcome a new school to serve the community.
“It is exciting times and having certainty about its future after so many years is really reassuring.”
Essex County Council revealed earlier this year that it had chosen to build a new secondary school where Alderman Blaxill stands following a lengthy consultation.
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The current site is set to be demolished and construction work should start in January 2018
Alderman Blaxill opened in 1955 and fought off two attempts to close it, in the 1990s and in 2008.
The school finally closed down in 2014 because of falling pupil numbers.
Residents and councillors have campaigned for a school at the site ever since.
Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education, said the school could open in September 2019, and could even open earlier.
He said: “Our plans for a new secondary school in Paxman Avenue are progressing well and a pre-planning public consultation is now open.
“Subject to planning permission and other approvals, we hope building works will start in March 2018 and be completed ahead of September 2019.
“The project will create 900 new secondary school places to help meet the increased demand as Colchester continues to grow.
“I would encourage anyone who wants to have their say on the proposals to come along to next week’s public exhibition or take part in the online consultation.”
The public exhibition will be held at St Cedd’s Church Hall, Iceni Way, Colchester.
The exhibition takes place rom 3pm to 7pm on Wednesday, August 30.
History of Alderman Blaxill School
It opened in 1955 and was named after a former Mayor of Colchester. In 1976, Alderman Blaxill became a comprehensive school and then an academy in 2012.
However, because of fewer pupils attending, it closed permanently in 2014. The majority of the students transferred to The Stanway School and Thomas Lord Audley School, with which Alderman Blaxill was federated.
There were plans to reopen it, but these were halted after Essex County Council said it would cost too much to refurbish the site and for a time it was not clear what would happen to the school.
Campaigners insisted the site needed to remain as an education facility because of the amount of new school places needed in Colchester.
Last year, the council revealed it was considering four options for the site, which included a primary school, secondary and an amalgamation of the two.
It was revealed this year the school would be demolished and a secondary would be opening following a consultation with residents.