Problem-hit Portsmouth school will be replaced in £9m building plan

King Richard School headteacher Gareth Hughes
King Richard School headteacher Gareth Hughes
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A SCHOOL plagued by building problems including a collapsed roof and flooding will be knocked down and replaced.

King Richard School in Paulsgrove has been awarded £9m for the new building.

The purpose-built facility will be on playing fields at the Allaway Avenue school.

Pupils and staff will move over before the old one is demolished to make space for new playing fields.

Headteacher Gareth Hughes said: ‘This will be a very exciting time for the school and the local community.

‘A new building with purpose-built facilities and much better organised spaces will help us improve the education for the young people in the area.

‘Among the improvements will be much better sports facilities, modern science and technology classrooms and up-to-date facilities in the arts.’

Mr Hughes added he hopes a contractor will be named by mid-May but this could be delayed. Nothing is confirmed until the contractor is announced.

He said the change will ‘help us do even more to ensure that the young people of Paulsgrove and Wymering are ready for the challenges of the 21st century’.

Pupils and staff have had to put up with collapsed drains, and flooding in the maths and science blocks and English corridor. The roof of the science block collapsed, and pipes had to be changed as drinking water was stagnant, risking the incubation of legionella bacteria.

The building work will be funded by the Department for Education’s Priority Schools Building Programme.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt has welcomed the cash and hopes community facilities at the site will benefit residents.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘The environment people learn in is absolutely critical.’

The building programme is organised and managed by the Education Funding Agency for the government.

Councillor Neill Young, cabinet member for education at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It’s fantastic.

‘We desperately need a new school building in that part of the city.

‘The new building will be a fantastic facility and will support children in their education and learning.’

Work is due in September with it finished in April 2017.