PARENTS, students and neighbours will have the chance to shape the 'exciting' redevelopment of a major Portsmouth school – which will be demolished and then rebuilt.
Next week members of the public will be given a first-look at potential designs for the Mayfield School in North End, which will see the school demolished and a new 'state-of-the-art' building constructed.
Feedback from residents will then be taken on board before a planning application is submitted.
It is hoped the regeneration will not only increase pupil numbers by around 200 but will improve facilities for the students and teachers.
Councillor Suzy Horton, the council's cabinet member for education, said: 'We are investing to ensure there are enough school places, particularly secondary school places, at Mayfield.
'It is important that the students are in a high quality learning environment and what could be higher quality than a purpose-built school?'
Mayfield has been what is known as an all-through school since 2014 when it opened an infant and junior section. This means that students between the age of four to 16 attend.
Cllr Horton believed that the new school would better cater for the range of school years. 'As it became an all-through school some parts were used for different things', she said.
'With a completely new building like this they can actually plan what is needed and where it will go. It can have classrooms that are suitable for specific year groups. It's really exciting.'
For Mayfield's headteacher, David Jeapes, it was important that members of the public engage with the plans. He said: 'I'm delighted that we are at the stage to share the plans with the local community.
'The council, Mayfield staff and governors have all worked very hard over recent years to create an all- through school which benefits children and our community. They deserve a purpose-built, state-of-the-art, educational environment.'
If planning permission is granted work will begin on the new build in the grounds of the school so that studies can continue uninterrupted. The old building will not be knocked down until the new one is completed.
Much of the current school building dates back to the 1930s.
Cllr Horton added: 'I think there is an element of nostalgia with Mayfield. Lots of people will have memories of how the school used to be.
'But there is enough evidence that shows children's learning improves in a modern environment and that has to come first.'
The cost of the new build will come from a government grant that has already been secured.
Residents can attend the public information event at the school any time from 3.30pm until 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 15.