Work to start on new Holly Lodge Girls’ College

Mayor Joe Anderson is to kick start construction of the new £7 million Holly Lodge Girls’ College in West Derby on Friday 10 January.

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

It is 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’s key pledges.

The funding – a combination of city council and Government money – was negotiated as part of Liverpool’s City Deal, and will see at least 12 schools receive investment.

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

Mayor Anderson will take part in a turf cutting ceremony at 10am with pupils, staff, local MP Stephen Twigg and Cabinet member for education, Councillor Jane Corbett.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I pledged to rebuild a dozen schools to help transform the experience for tens of thousands of present and future school pupils, and this is the fourth scheme that we are starting work on.

“This investment in Holly Lodge Girls’ College is much needed to make sure pupils get the most out of their learning.”

The scheme includes a small extension to the existing sports hall with new administrative offices and a new look reception.

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

Headteacher Julia Tinsley said: “We absolutely love our site but time has caught up with it and it is a sad fact that the age and layout is just not suitable for today’s teaching.

“The new school will address this and enhance the beautiful campus on which the school is built, maintaining the unique character of Holly Lodge.

“We are thrilled and delighted that the girls and staff will be given the accommodation and ICT facilities they deserve. It will also be a much more environmentally friendly school which will cost us less to heat, maintain and repair.”

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

It is proposed that around a third of the existing site at the front nearest Queens Drive will be sold when the work is completed.

Kier Construction have been appointed to carry out the work, and a target has been set for 95 percent of it to be subcontracted to firms in the Liverpool city region. Hundreds of apprenticeships are also being created through the schools investment programme.

Gary Wintersgill, MD of Speke based Kier Construction – Northern, commented: “As a local contractor celebrating 100 years of operations in Liverpool this year the whole Kier team is delighted to be involved in building new schools for the city’s young people.

“Around 85 percent of the cost of the Holly Lodge project budget will be spent locally using local firms like Hawkspear and HE Simm providing both sustainable employment and training opportunities across the city region.”

The new building is scheduled to open in February 2015.