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Greensward Academy in Hockley given thumbs up to start £15.5million revamp
PLANS to rebuild part of a secondary school as part of a £15.5million revamp have been given the green light.
Greensward Academy, in Hockley, has now started working on bringing the proposals to life after Rochford District Council approved its application.
Half of the school’s Sixties building will be replaced with state-of-the-art facilities including up-to-date IT equipment in a new learning centre as well as parking for staff and visitors.
Debbie Stokes, headteacher, said it was an exciting time for the school.
She said: “I am absolutely over the moon, at long last we can now start thinking about what is going to happen and when.
“The students will have nice new facilities and the school will look good. It wasn’t enough money to build a brand new school but what has come out is really nice.”
The school, in Greensward Lane, was given cash for the improvements in January last year from the Department for Education.
Staff set to work straight away to draw up the ambitious plans which includes 157 car parking spaces.
However, there were concerns raised by neighbours about how cars and pupils would get in and out of the site.
The new proposals move the current turning circle at the front further into the site.
Ian Shaw, who has lived near to the school for 20 years, said he had never complained about the school before but was worried about the way it would look and how the new entrance would work.
He said: “They are going to make the students use one entrance where at the moment they can use a number of exits, this would funnel all of the students onto a smaller pavement at the same time which would certainly be a bigger risk to the safety of the students.
“We are in no way opposed to the school being modernised but they are putting up a new frontage that is urbanising Hockley and making look like inner London rather than a rural school.“
Ms Stokes said the entrance would work the same way.
She added: “The entrance is the same, there will be a car able to go in and one come out. They will still be doing the same.
“I think the design is absolutely lovely.”
Councillors agreed the plans should be passed subject to conditions
It is expected the new building will open in September 2015.