School site plan given support

PLANS to stop a doomed school from being lost completely when it finally closes its doors have been overwhelmingly backed.

More than 100 people turned out to discuss Saxmundham and District Community Interest Company’s (SADCIC) proposals for the town’s middle school site in Seaman Avenue.

The group recently held two meetings attended by stakeholder organisations, local residents and new Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey to get their views and ideas.

It wants to turn the middle school – which is set to close in the summer of 2012 as Suffolk moves from a three-tier to a two-tier education system – into a community enterprise centre.

A detailed feasibility study is needed to ascertain the exact changes required but it is hoped any new development would have a twin focus of providing both community and commercial facilities, such as offices, advanced IT services and conference and meeting rooms, for business users.

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It would also aim to generate various revenue streams in order to subsidise other services for disadvantaged groups.

Ideas for the development include a library, a recording studio and community radio station, a youth centre, a fitness suite, a caf�, a commercial kitchen and dining area, a bar, several meeting areas and a cr�che.

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The proposed development would also enhance the Meadows Children’s Centre already on the site.

Meanwhile it is hoped the current garden and greenhouse area at the rear of the building could be used as a community garden or allotments.

Ron Warren, chairman of SADCIC, said: “We were overwhelmed with the level of support that we have received from the local community for our proposals.

“We now look forward to working with key stakeholders – including Suffolk County Council – to make this community enterprise centre a reality.”

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