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Green light for Grove


Work on a new Grove School is expected to start in January 2011 as part of a multi-million pound schools redevelopment programme.

The Balderton comprehensive will be demolished and rebuilt on its London Road site.

The project will be paid for with part of £150m available to Nottinghamshire County Council as part of the Government’s Building Schools for the Future programme.

A spokesman for the council said there were no detailed plans for the Grove scheme but a new school normally cost around £20m.

The Grove opened 51 years ago and its buildings are now regarded as being in a poor condition.

The headteacher, Mrs Patricia Head, said: “The Grove is definitely getting a rebuild. It is really exciting for us.

“What we will deliver will be much more than a school, it will be the centre of the whole community.

“Building Schools for the Future is not just about building a new school and having a better building.

“It is about transforming not just educational provision, but the whole approach to how you look after people in the local community — whether it is their educational, emotional or support needs.

“We want to work with a range of partners to make sure that what is on this site is what the local community needs.”

As part of the overall programme money will also be spent on buildings at the Newark High School site.

The school will close in July. It will become the Grove’s second site and will be known as the Lilley and Stone campus.

The Nottinghamshire Learning Centre, which takes pupils from all over the county who are not currently in schools, will share a site with the new school, as will the Orchard School, a special school for pupils aged three to 19.

The Magnus Church of England School, Newark, where Ofsted inspectors have ordered special measures to be introduced, will be remodelled with 20%-50% of its buildings being rebuilt on its Earp Avenue site.

The Newark MP, Mr Patrick Mercer, said: “At last we have got an idea of the sum of money and the projects. “This is the top priority in Newark.

“Now we have a clear target to go for and clear resources we must make something of it.

“This is extremely good news. I wish it had happened a few years ago.”

Mrs Head said each school involved in the redevelopment programme had to produce a document called A Strategy For Change by December.

She said the document would outline their vision for the new school.

An outline business case setting out details such as costings has to be completed by May 2009.

Tenders will be sought until December 2010 with building work scheduled to start the following month.

Mrs Head said her students were excited at the prospect of a new school.

“A lot of them will not be in the new school but they will be part of the process and have a say in it,” she said.

The Dukeries College, Ollerton, is set to become an academy and will be almost completely rebuilt as part of the plans.

Other schools in the programme are the Joseph Whitaker Comprehensive, School, Rainworth; Meden School and Technology College, Warsop and Garibaldi Comprehensive School, Mansfield.

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