First look at £1.4m plan for school

Essex County Standard: How the new sixth form block might look according to planning consultants Ingleton Wood. How the new sixth form block might look according to planning consultants Ingleton Wood.

HERE is a first look at £1.4million plans to transform a Colchester grammar school.

A new sixth form centre will be built at Colchester County High School for Girls, in Norman Way, if the proposal gets the go-ahead.

The block, including a cafe, gym, common room, classrooms and science labs, would replace three demountable classrooms on the school site.

It could be completed around May 2015, allowing the existing sixth form to be expanded to have up to 140 spaces for students the following academic year.

There are currently 120 spaces.

It is hoped Government cash will pay for the project, along with additional money from the school, but the scheme can be completed in phases over several years if full funding is not secured straight away.

Headteacher Gillian Marshall said: “It is very exciting. We have had a lot of work done to the school over the past few years and it’s almost unrecognisable now.

“Staff have been very positive about having new facilities in the school, and students will also be involved in the design of the building, such as choosing colour schemes and furniture.

“The school is quite cramped, particularly the dining hall, and we have an additional class starting in September, so having a specific eating area for the sixth form will really help.

“The mini-gym promotes healthy lifestyles and we hope this is something the older students can enjoy. We also plan to add a new common room, too, which could also be used as a lecture theatre with tiered seating, and a covered courtyard area.”

Mrs Marshall said she was desperate to get rid of the demountable classrooms.

She said: “Quite a few of them were built in the Sixties and are now in quite a state.

“No child should have to be educated in these in this day and age.”

The school has applied to expand the science block on the main building by adding a two-storey extension with a classroom on each level.

This project will be completed by September, if given planning approval.

Colchester Council should decide on the two applications by March 4.

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