THE rebuilding of four Chester schools is expected to be completed as early as 2017.
Blacon High School, Dee Point Primary School, Highfield Community Primary School and J H Godwin Primary School, all in Blacon, are to be rebuilt as part of a UK-wide redevelopment scheme over the next three years.
The confimation came after the Government announced more funding for the Priority School Building Programme to increase the fund to £2.4 billion to redevelop the 261 schools in the worst condition in the country.
David Laws, Schools Minister, said: “The ‘priority school building’ programme is making great strides in ensuring vital building work takes place at some of the schools in the worst state across the country.
“It’s providing much better value for money than previous school building schemes, and forms part of the government’s drive to deliver the best schools for young people in order to help deliver both a stronger economy and a fairer society.”
On news of the extra funding, Cheshire West and Chester Council officials said work to rebuild all three schools was expected to be completed by 2017.
Nic Wetton, headteacher of J H Godwin, said his school would have a complete rebuild with a new building going up next to the existing building so the school is not disrupted during the building work.
Mr Wetton said: “It’s very exciting times and lots of things are changing at the school.
“We’re having a total rebuild for two years time.
“This old current building will not be part of the new build.”
J H Godwin have not yet found out which company will be building the new school but they will be involved in the new design process – albeit with strict guidelines from the Governmental programme.
Chester MP Stephen Mosley said: “This is fantastic news for Chester.
“Even as we continue to clear up our country’s finances, we are also investing in our young people with four schools in Blacon being entirely rebuilt.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this Government’s record on education.
“On top of these rebuilds, we have had two new free schools opening in Chester, several schools are taking advantage of the benefits of Academy status and all temporary classrooms across Chester are being replaced with permanent classrooms.
“Together, these reforms are giving parents more choice and raising standards across our city.
“With millions of pounds invested in our schools, record numbers of apprenticeships and youth unemployment tumbling, the future is bright for Chester’s young people.”
Sue Yates, headteacher at Blacon High School, said the investment into Blacon was ‘massive’.
She said: “We are currently working through all the different plans.
“There have been three different bids to build the new school and we should be able to select the best one in the next few weeks.
"It is an exciting time and it is fantastic for the future of edcation in Blacon.
“It is a massive commitment to any city but the fact it is focussed on the Blacon estate is fantastic for the community."
Dee Point Primary School was unavailable for comment when contacted by the Leader regarding the plans to rebuild the schools. Highfield Community Primary School declined to comment about the proposals.
See full story in the Chester Leader