Shipston school to be redeveloped

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IT IS all change for Shipston High School as a project to redevelop its site in the town takes shape.

Since its adoption of academy status in September, the school has been working with architects on a project divided into five phases.

It will include a new six-classroom teaching block and sports hall complex to be built on land at the back of Shipston Leisure Centre.

Jonathan Baker, headteacher, said: “We know from community sports groups we have spoken to that this will be a popular new facility in the Shipston area and one that really will benefit the whole community.

“We are holding a public meeting so that we can share our ideas with local organisations and listen to the views of potential users of the new sports hall.”

The project has been kick-started by the need for the school to expand in order to cope with existing numbers and projected future growth.

The school currently has capacity for 388 students but has 436 on roll, and has been working with Birmingham-based architects BDP since September.

Phase one will include the construction of the teaching block, new toilet facilities, offices and storage space. The school has submitted a bid to the Department for Education, and is awaiting its agreement so that work on phase one – costing £1.4 million – can begin in March.

Later phases of the school development include the gradual demolition and replacement of the entire school building, with only a core of the existing site remaining including the school hall, canteen and kitchen.

Mr Baker said: “Phase two of the project is particularly exciting as we are looking to build a new four-court sports hall complete with a dance studio and classroom on school land at the back of Shipston Leisure Centre so it can be used by local schools during the day and by community groups in the evenings and at weekends.”

Since the project was unveiled the school has been receiving considerable interest in its proposals and the plans have received support from Shipston Town Council.

Warwickshire County Council has agreed to fund the development costs of the project and contribute to the cost of the new building.

A public meeting to discuss the proposals will be held on Thursday, February 7 at 7pm at the school. All are welcome.