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Watch and read about the progress...
The start of term has seen the ground floor of the new building ready for occupation thanks to a tremendous effort by the main contractors, QSP, who made up ground lost when the original contractor went into liquidation. School site staff and ICT Technicians worked over the Bank Holiday weekend to ensure classrooms were equipped and ready for use. On the first day of term sixth form students were able to enter through the new sixth form entrance and occupy the new teaching rooms - feedback from staff and students is very positive. Work is currently continuing on the middle and top floors which are expected to be completed by the New Year.
The recent fine weather has enabled the contractor, QSP, to complete the roof and with the installation of the windows the building will soon be watertight. Inside, the rooms are really taking shape and much of the first fix work has been completed by electrical and plumbing contractors. There is tremendous activity on site as everyone is working hard to complete the first phase for September.
The contractor, QSP has all of the steel work and floors in place. Kirklees has decided to fund the third floor in order to allow the removal of all of the temporary accommodation (currently eight classrooms) on the school site and planning was granted last week. This second phase of work is expected to be completed by October/November. The new accommodation will provide an opportunity to rationalise departmental areas throughout the school in order to create a more coherent structure, improve circulation and enhance storage and staff working areas. The leadership team has recently completed a draft accommodation plan for 2010 and is in the process of consulting with heads of department. Some re-modelling of existing accommodation will be required and it is intended that this will be funded from formula capital.
With all of the steel work in place the new building is rapidly taking shape and contractors QSP are confident that the initial phase of the building will be completed in August ready for the start of the Autumn term. The new building, which will provide four much needed laboratories, additional sixth form study accommodation and six new classrooms has been funded by the Learning and Skills Council. Kirklees MC has recently announced that it is funding a third floor in order to allow the removal of all of the temporary accommodation (currently eight classrooms) on the school site. There are significant cost savings if the work on the third floor is incorporated into the main project. This second phase of work is expected to be completed by October/November. There has been some speculation in the local press that the new building will allow a further significant increase in sixth form numbers. As parents and students are well aware this is not the case, sixth form numbers at 470 are already close to the maximum of 500 envisaged by the LSC and the funding for the third floor provided by the local authority is conditional on the school not increasing its roll. The new accommodation will mean that the school has sufficient specialist rooms to meet the demand for science courses and adequate private study and social space for the sixth form.