New look for Holly Lodge Girls’ College

Work is complete on the construction of the new £7 million Holly Lodge Girls’ College in West Derby in Liverpool.

The scheme has seen a new main teaching block built comprising new humanities classrooms, arts, music and drama spaces including an activity hall, and a Sixth Form centre with a central atrium and café area.

It forms part of the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme, devised as a rescue package following the scrapping of Wave Six of Liverpool’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project, and one of the Mayor of Liverpool’s key pledges.

The funding, a combination of city council and Government money, was negotiated as part of Liverpool’s City Deal, and is seeing at least 12 schools receive investment – with work on 10 already underway or complete.

The aim at Holly Lodge has been to reduce the number of school buildings, some of which were over 100 years old and unsuited to delivering a modern curriculum.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “This is great news for current and future pupils at Holly Lodge and will help transform their education.

“This investment in Holly Lodge Girls’ College is much needed to make sure pupils get the most out of their learning, as the old school had simple become unmanageable in terms of the number, quality and location of the buildings.”

The scheme includes a small extension to the existing sports hall with new administrative offices, and a new look reception located along Mill Lane.

There is also a new half-sized floodlit artificial grass pitch which will be made available to the local community.

Head Julia Tinsley with pupils
Head Julia Tinsley with pupils

Headteacher Julia Tinsley said: “Our pupils and staff absolutely love our new buildings and we simply can’t wait to start teaching in them.

“We have been really anxious to make sure that the new buildings enhance the beautiful campus on which the school is built, and maintain the unique character of Holly Lodge.

“As well as getting much-needed new accommodation and ICT facilities, it will also be a much more environmentally friendly school and will cost us less to heat, maintain and repair.”

The new building is arranged in proximity to the five buildings which are being retained, greatly reducing lost teaching time as a result of pupils having to walk long distances between lessons.

Around a third of the existing site at the front nearest Queens Drive will be sold when the work is complete, to help contribute towards the costs of the Schools Investment Programme.

The work has been carried out by Kier Construction, with 85 percent of it subcontracted to firms in Liverpool and a further nine percent to those in the city region.

More than 100 apprenticeships have also been created through the schools investment programme.

John O’Callaghan – MD of Speke based Kier Construction – said: “Teamwork and collaboration were key to successfully delivering Holly Lodge Girls College on time and on budget, and we are very much looking forward to working on future projects with the School Investment team in 2015 and beyond”

Pupils will move into the buildings in January, ahead of an official opening in March 2015.

Liverpool Waterfront