WORK is under way on a £4million teaching block at Chase High School.

The year-long project will create a new three-storey classroom block, new netball courts, a car park as well as fully refurbished science areas and main reception.

MP Sir David Amess joined senior teachers, and construction consultant Ingleton Wood and builders Davis Construction at the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony at the school in Westcliff.

The MP for Southend West, said: “The three-storey building will be a great asset to the school, but more importantly, it will provide a fresh environment and extra space in which our children can learn.

“I would like to commend the work of everyone involved in this project and I join with the school’s staff and students in looking forward to its completion in 2020.”

There are 1,017 students at the school, but the new year block means that will increase to 1,330 pupils by September 2024.

The plans were approved in January this year.

Chase High School headteacher Andrew James said: “It really will transform the school. We can’t wait to see the final result.

“This is a great opportunity to provide an updated suite of rooms for our humanities subjects such as geography, history, RE and sociology.

“Ingleton Wood’s experience in working with schools is hugely appreciated.

“They have a strong portfolio of successful projects in other schools, which has clearly benefitted the staff and pupils there.

“They understand the educational context and bring a pragmatic approach to the work, which makes a big difference to the day-to-day experience of everyone involved.”

The new building will be made up of 14 classrooms and be built on an area which is currently used for parking between the existing school buildings and a sixth form block.

The project is being funded by Southend Council to make sure there borough has sufficient capacity in secondary schools to cope with the pupil-number bulge in primary schools, as well as the council’s commitment to build extra homes in the borough in the coming years.

Residents had raised concerns about a loss of parking which they feared could cause problems but planning permission was granted nonetheless.