The first images have been released of the new St Julie’s Catholic High School – which will benefit around 1,000 young people and their families in Woolton.
The £20 million development will create a new fit for purpose building for up to 1,100 pupils as well as opening up most of a privately owned woodland behind the school to more than compensate for the loss of less than five percent of a neighbouring field.
The three and four storey building replaces a worn out and tired 1960s design which is no longer fit for modern teaching methods and needs significant repairs and maintenance.
The new buildings are being sympathetically designed in line with the Woolton Village Conservation Area, and will be further away from the Grade 1 listed Woolton Hall than the existing school.
The complex will also include multi use games area and sports hall which will be available for use by the local community, and will give the school more outside play space than it currently has.
Councillor Jane Corbett, Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This scheme will deliver a fantastic new school for the area, benefiting hundreds of families who live in and around Woolton, as well as the wider community.
“It is absolutely vital that the area gets a new school and we have been able to come up with a plan which delivers a new school largely on the existing site.
“There is also an exciting opportunity here to develop a new piece of public space which can be used by the whole community, and deliver an increase in the amount of land available for use by local people.”
Head teacher of St Julie’s, Tim Alderman, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the plans for our new school, which will enable current and future generations of students in this community to benefit from fantastic educational facilities.
“I hope the community will continue to use our range of facilities out of school hours too, as well as enjoy the woodland areas that the Trustees have said could form part of this proposal.”
Ideas for the new public space include a children’s play area, woodland trail, cycle routes, trim trail and woodland management if deemed appropriate. It would be funded as part of the school development as a community-led project.
A complete rebuild on the existing footprint of the St Julie’s site is not feasible due to tight site constraints, and a comprehensive survey of the local area has shown there are no other suitable sites nearby which would deliver a large enough building, or with safe access for pupils and staff.
The project is part of the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme, which will see at least 12 new schools built. It was devised as a rescue package following the scrapping of Wave Six of Liverpool’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project, and is one of the Mayor’s key pledges.
The planning application is expected to be considered in April 2015 and if approved the school is expected to be completed in autumn 2016.