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School's £15million rebuild gets the go-ahead
8:00am Monday 9th April 2012 in News
ORMISTON Park Academy is set for a state-of-the-art rebuild after exciting plans were given the green light by Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation.
In its last ever planning meeting, the DC voted in favour of knocking down the exisiting school, which is made up of portable classrooms and buildings dating back to the 1950s, to combine the latest technology with traditional teaching methods in a £15million rebuild.
Work is expected to star just after Easter and when finished, the school will be able to accommodate 1,100 pupils, nearly 400 more than it can currently.
A new sports hall, fitness suite, dance studio and floodlit pitches will also be built with designs for a science garden, amphitheatre and pedestrian plaza also included in the plans.
Tradition will meet innovation in the new academy buildings, with quirks such as an enclosed literacy balcony, where children can go to read quietly.
Tess Walker, Ormiston Academy headteacher, could barely contain her happiness as the plans were approved. She said: “We are over the moon. It has been a long time coming.
“Secretary of State approval should just be a formality and no one had any objections to the plans.
“We’ve got great value for money, too. A build like this would normally cost £30million, but we’re having it done for half that.”
Building work on the Nethan Drive, Aveley, site will be completed in stages, with the school remaining open while work takes place. Phase one should be ready by the summer of 2013.
Ms Walker added: “Nothing replaces good teaching, but incorporating cutting-edge technology into our methods will be fantastic for us.
“Obviously there will be some inconvenience to staff and pupils while work takes place, but it will be worth it.”
The plans will now be forwarded to the Government for final approval.