School Growth Plans Unveiled in readiness for Troops Return
Local parents, councillors and other interested individuals got their first look at detailed proposals for a new Larkhill primary school as plans for a relocated St Michael's C of E primary school, Figheldean were revealed.
The blueprint for the new 420-place school, including nursery was on show at the Larkhill Community Centre on Monday (Jan 25) from 3pm until 6pm.
Boards illustrating the proposed floor plans and campus design were exhibited and school leaders, officials from Wiltshire County Council, local education bosses and architects were on hand to discuss the proposals and answer questions.
Claire Tunnicliffe, Chair of Governors at the school said: "We've been on this journey for what seems like a very long time. I am delighted that we're at a stage where we can see what the future school will look like. The new school will be sited with a wonderful vista; our children can't help but be inspired by the surrounding landscape."
Ms. Tunnicliffe went on to explain: "Pupil numbers in the Salisbury Plain area are set to rise dramatically, these proposals are about making sure we have an outstanding school on an outstanding campus, offering outstanding learning and teaching and the wider opportunities to our children and their families."
The new St Michael's C of E Primary School will be built on MOD land in readiness for the Army's rebasing of three regiments from Germany to the Salisbury Plain in 2019.
Tom Lindsay, Education Officer (Primary) at Wiltshire County Council put the school places' need into context, he said: "The Salisbury Plain area needs to provide 1200 extra school places for 2019; we anticipate 800 of these additional places will be for primary school aged children, this is the largest rebasing of military personnel since the 2nd World War."
Mr. Lindsay put forward the timetable for developments, which he said were subject to MoD and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation's (DIO) approval:
Spring 2016 - development of plans ready for Planning Approval
Winter 2016 - seek Planning Approval
Spring 2017 - appoint contractors
Summer 2017 - contractors start on site
Summer 2018 - school completion.
Giuseppe Amesbury from Kendall Kingscott Architect's presented the designs to the audience and explained how the sloping site would be used to create an exciting series of terraces that would house a ‘lookout', pond, fire-pit, story circle, football pitch and two very different playgrounds.
Jack Russell, Headteacher at St Michael's explained that the school's ethos, which is to provide a happy place of excellent learning and a true sense of community at its heart, will remain intact at the new, larger school.
Subject to planning permission and the outcome of the consultation, it is hoped the new school will be completed for September 2018.
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