Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Leeds council announces £9.5 million investment in schools

Four Leeds schools are to benefit from a £9.5 million pound investment in new buildings, extensions and remodelling to help them meet increasing demand for places.

At today’s (Wednesday 12 October) meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board, members agreed the investment in Roundhay High School Technology and Language College, Carr Manor High School, Bracken Edge Primary School and Wykebeck Primary School.

The schools are expanding as part of a city-wide programme which is necessary to meet the increased demand for primary-age places caused by a rising birth rate and an increase in the number of families moving into certain areas of the city.

Earlier this year the executive board considered reports on the outcomes of consultations on proposals for the expansion of primary provision across the city from September 2012, and agreed that the expansion of these four schools was needed.

From next September Roundhay High School will become a ‘through-school’, which means it will have an age range of 4 to 18. The investment agreed today of £4.4 million will provide a new modular building to accommodate primary age pupils on land off Elmete Lane (the site of the former Braim Wood School).

The new building will provide all the facilities required for a two form entry primary school, that is 60 children per year group, including 14 classrooms, a main hall, toilets, storage, library and administration offices.

Carr Manor High will also become a ‘through-school’ from next September, with a reception intake of 30 places. The council has agreed to invest £2.5 million to create a new building on the existing school site to accommodate the primary age pupils. As well as providing seven classrooms, a design technology room, large hall and library, the redevelopment would also provide access roads, paths, hard play areas, soft play areas, a sports pitch and habitat area.

Additional accommodation is also needed for Wykebeck primary school to increase capacity from 315 to 420 pupils, so an investment of £1.58 million has been agreed, to provide a modular extension and remodelling of the existing building. The new extension will provide four additional classrooms, and the remodelling will accommodate ten more classrooms.

As well as the education provision, the new extension will also include community accommodation with a separate entrance to replace the former South Gipton Community Centre. In addition a shared Multi-Use Games Area will be created for school and community use.

£936,000 has also been set aside to expand the accommodation at Bracken Edge primary to increase the capacity from 315 to 420 pupils next September. As well as building a new extension to provide a 26-place nursery for reception children and year one classes, the current nursery and reception area is to be remodelled to accommodate year two classes.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“We are committed to investing in our schools and facilities and these expansions will provide a real boost to education in these parts of the city.

“This investment is vital to ensure that we meet the growing demands for primary school places, to ensure we are providing all the children in Leeds with access to excellent up to date facilities and give them the best possible start to their learning.

“We will work closely with all the schools throughout the construction process to ensure the transition for staff and pupils is as smooth as possible.”

All the new buildings and extensions will be modular, off-site builds which has proved to be the best value-for-money option in the on-going programme to increase primary places across the city. Modular construction was selected for these new buildings as it provides a modern, high quality, sustainable solution and minimises disruption as the majority of the work is completed off-site.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713