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£129m schools revamp go-ahead

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The city council has given the go ahead for £129 million of work to rebuild and revamp schools in Leicester.

The next phase of the authority's Building Schools for the Future programme will see 12 secondary schools transformed by 2015.

After months of consultations, contracts for the project have now been signed.

Work at New College, in New Parks, and Babington Community College, in Beaumont Leys, has just begun.

Work at Sir Jonathan North Community College and The Lancaster School, both in Knighton, Moat Community College, in Highfields, St Paul's, in Evington, English Martyrs, in Beaumont Leys, Hamilton Community College, and Nether Hall School, will start in the next few weeks.

At New College, classrooms are being refurbished, new drama and music facilities created and a reception area and entrance are being built as part of a £9 million project.

Head teacher Jane Brown said: "This is excellent news. We've been working closely with the council, our students and our community to ensure the plans for our new building reflect their wishes and needs.

"We're looking forward to taking this to the next stage now and can't wait until we are moving in."

Parent Jenny Wilson said: "The work here in the school should improve and make the learning environment excellent for all its students."

Contracts for two of the city's special schools – West Gate, in New Parks and Ash Field Academy, in Evington – are expected to be signed in the summer, with work due to start before autumn.

These schools will complete the programme, which will mean all 22 of Leicester's secondary and special schools will have been rebuilt or refurbished thanks to a total investment of more than £350 million of Government money that has been handed over to the council.

Councillor Vi Dempster, assistant city mayor for children, young people and schools, said: "It's fantastic news that we can now move on to the next phase of our programme. A huge amount of hard work has gone into securing this money for Leicester.

"The BSF programme is transforming the environments our children and young people are learning in. And the partnership between schools and the council is transforming the quality of that learning."

The re-modelling of the Children's Hospital School at Willowbank is almost complete.

The handover of a new building to Rushey Mead School will take place this spring. In addition, Crown Hills Community College and City of Leicester College will move into their new buildings at the end of 2013.

Miller Construction has been appointed as the main contractor for the design and build of the schools.


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