Millions being spent on new school buildings

An artist's impression of the Siskin Campus, Gosport
An artist's impression of the Siskin Campus, Gosport
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MILLIONS of pounds of work is due to start at three schools as part of a major development.

Hampshire County Council has begun construction work on a £2.5m project to boost Siskin Junior, Infant and Nursery schools in Gosport.

It will see a new multi-function hall, parent room, music and drama studio, combined library and computer room built on the grounds of the school.

There will also be facilities for food technology and children’s fitness.

Existing buildings will be refurbished and people in the nearby community will have opportunities to use them.

Sian Thornton, the executive headteacher of the school, said: ‘This is a tremendous opportunity for our schools and our community.

‘We are thrilled that the council has confidence in our success and is supporting us with this terrific investment.’

The work is part of the Rowner Renewal Development Area project.

It was designed by the council’s own architects and includes a new frontage for the schools.

The leader of council Councillor Ken Thornber said: ‘This project aims to provide a huge boost for the local area, by supporting not only the educational needs of children, but also the wider needs of their families to help give pupils the best possible start in life.

‘With enhanced facilities open to all, this marks an exciting new chapter for the community in Rowner which we hope will benefit local people for generations to come.’

During the construction work, the school will remain open and operate as normal. The various construction projects will be carried out in phases.

The work is hoped to be completed in time for the new school year in September 2013.

The infant school will be then reduced from a three-form entry to a two-form entry school of 180 pupils and the junior school will consolidate and remain as a two form entry school of 240 pupils.

Elsewhere in Gosport, Grange Infant School was recently awarded a £490,000 cash boost from the council. Plans were approved for an extension at the school to build two new classrooms, a cloakroom and toilets replacing temporary buildings on the Franklin Road site.

The work, which was funded from the council’s children’s services capital programme, is expected to begin in November this year.

It is hoped the work will be completed by next spring.

The developments are part of a £10m package of investment by the county council into education in Gosport this year.

The Rowner Renewal project is a multi-million pound regeneration of the Rowner estate in Gosport.

Phase one included the construction of 219 houses and apartments while phase two will see 101 new apartments, a new Tesco supermarket and other shops.