Staff and pupils pleased with improvements
3:02pm Thu Oct 04, 2012
Improvements at The Grove School, Balderton, are making it a better place to learn and work, according to staff and students.
The work, including roof repairs, refurbishment of classrooms, the theatre, drama studios and communal spaces, and new flooring, is part of a £2m project to tackle health and safety issues.
The money from Nottinghamshire County Council comes ahead of plans to rebuild the Grove as part of the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme.
Mr Philip Owen, county council cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said although the Grove would be the first school in the county to be rebuilt it was unlikely to be completed until 2016.
The Grove is in the worst condition of any school in the county.
It was due to have been rebuilt under the previous government’s Building Schools for the Future scheme that was scrapped.
Mr Owen said: “Under the Priority Schools Building Programme the planning isn’t even going to get started until the third quarter of 2014.
“By that time a lot of these pupils will have gone all the way through the system.
“I don’t think it’s fair they should have a school in a dilapidated condition where the toilets weren’t working properly and things like that.”
Mr Owen said the improvement programme would not affect the rebuild.
“We think the improvements are a real positive,” he said.
“We are going to do everything we can to try to bring work on rebuilding the school forward.”
Mr Owen said the county council was also investing £2m in improvements at the Magnus Church of England School, and the William Gladstone Primary School, Newark, and the new annexe of Chuter Ede Primary School at Fernwood.
“It’s an exciting time for education in Newark. It’s time we had a positive story in Newark because it’s been forgotten over recent years,” he said.
The Grove’s acting head, Mrs Liz Hart, said the improvements were making a big difference to staff and pupils.
“Staff have come back to a building that feels more inviting,” she said.
“It’s hard to put into words the difference this has made but the whole feel of the school is more welcoming.
“This has been about the students who are here now, but we can’t lose sight of the fact we need a new building.”
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