Contracts worth almost £9 million are set to be awarded for construction work on two schools in Liverpool.
It will see Kier Construction building a new £7 million home for Palmerston School (pictured above) on the site of the current Aigburth High on Minehead Road. It is moving to a brand new building on Childwall Abbey Road in Childwall in April 2016.
The current Palmerston School, located on Beaconsfield Road in Woolton, is reaching the end of its life and does not have any suitable external recreation facilities.
The new single storey building will accommodate boys and girls aged 11-19 years with severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple needs, and will be completed by April 2017.
It will include a sports and dining hall plus a new hydrotherapy and splash pool together with sensory learning spaces.
Meanwhile, St Margaret’s Church of England Academy is to get a new £2 million teaching block which will house a food technology lab and drama hall/theatre opening in time for the start of the new academic year in September 2016.
The two schemes are part of the Mayor’s Liverpool School Investment Programme, in which £169 million is being spent on 17 new and refurbished schools right across the city.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for education, Councillor Nick Small, said: “The current Palmerston School is past its sell-by date and although the teaching is excellent the staff and pupils are hampered by the lack of outdoor space and modern learning facilities.
“The work at St Margaret’s will enable them to extend their range of academic and vocational courses, giving students more choice in the subjects they can study.
“We will be working closely with the construction firm to make sure that as much of the sub-contracting work as possible is spent locally to benefit firms in the City Region.”
Kier estimate that 85 percent of the spend will be in Liverpool with another 10 percent across Merseyside. They will also be creating nine apprenticeships as part of the scheme.
Palmerston School Principal Lis Burbidge said: “The staff and pupils are delighted about the prospect of the new school and are already planning how we will use the exciting new rooms and outdoor space.”
Principal at St Margaret’s Academy, Stephen Brierley, said: “We are thrilled and deeply grateful for the investment that will be taking place in our buildings over the next few months.
“In its many years of existence, St Margaret’s has never had any facilities to teach practical food lessons – but thanks to the generosity of the Mayor’s fund, future generations of students will be able to learn these vital skills practically, and on-site.
“Our new drama space will provide an excellent opportunity for budding actors and actresses to learn their craft too.
“The entire school community is very much looking forward to the new facilities that are so generously being provided for us”.
John O’Callaghan, managing director of Kier Construction’s northern operations, commented: “We are delighted to have been chosen for this important project to improve Palmerston and St Margaret’s schools.
“This will be the fourth scheme we’ve delivered through the Liverpool School Improvement Programme and we look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with Liverpool City Council.
“In addition to providing high quality, fit for purpose educational facilities for both pupils and staff, the project will also benefit the city more widely, as we will be looking to keep approximately 85 percent of our budget spend here in Liverpool, and create valuable employment and training opportunities in our local supply chain.”
The report will be considered by the Cabinet on Friday 18 March.