Fantastic day as school is awarded £10m rebuild cash

SO HAPPY Headteacher Chris Anders with pupils at Park Community School celebrate the cash windfall.   Picture: Malcolm Wells (110283-8546)
SO HAPPY Headteacher Chris Anders with pupils at Park Community School celebrate the cash windfall. Picture: Malcolm Wells (110283-8546)
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The Vanguard Centre, in Cosham, where work is taking place to transform it into a new school for the city.

Building work begins on new £3.2m Cosham school

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A CRUMBLING school whose huge rebuilding project was scrapped by government cuts is to get its makeover after being handed millions by education officials.

Park Community School, in Leigh Park, is being given £10m by Hampshire County Council just months after it was announced that millions promised by the previous Labour government under the Building Schools of the Future scheme had been pulled.

Around two thirds of the school needs to be rebuilt because of ‘concrete cancer’ in its 1960s structure.

Chris Anders, headteacher of the school, in Middle Park Way, said he was ‘delighted’.

It’s not clear exactly what will be rebuilt or refurbished yet but my guess is that two thirds of the floor area needs to be rebuilt,’ he said.

‘From our point of view, as a school, we would like the opportunity to provide an even better education for our students.

‘What we hope is to make sure that our facilities are even better and for the whole community to use. What I understand is that because it’s Hampshire money we get more flexibility to make sure the buildings meet a community need. My view as a headteacher is that this is recognition of the outstanding contribution of staff and students. Somebody had to do something and they chose the long term solution, and sooner rather than later.

‘Personally, I’m delighted.’ If all goes to plan the work will start in 2012, only around six months behind the schedule of the original Building Schools for the Future plans.

And the school may be in line for another £10m match funding from the council’s policy and resources budget later in the year. Hampshire County Councillor Liz Fairhurst had been battling for months to secure funding for Park Community once it was clear the BSF cash wasn’t coming. She said: ‘The children at Park School, where standards have been going up and up, truly deserve this support. I am sure that with £10m being spent on refurbishment we shall see a real difference in the school building.

‘This is a fantastic day for Havant education.’

Year seven Pupil Katie Rothwell said: ‘It will show how everyone in this school and community is valued because we will be able to provide for everyone’s leisure and education needs’