A Burnley faith school has been given the green light to move into a new multi-million pound home.
The Burnley High School will be built on the site of the former Habergham High School after the Government approved the project.
Ten weeks ago we were very disappointed when we learned we would not be moving from our current home at Parkhill in September. But the news we are to have a completely new school has banished the disappointment and filled us with excitement for the futureBurnley High’s Head of School Mrs Dawn Forshaw
Executive Principal of the trust behind the scheme Mrs Elizabeth Haddock announced the decision which will see the existing empty building demolished and a new school built in Byron Street.
The move follows the scrapping of plans to refurbish Habergham after the discovery of old mining activities under the buildings forced a rethink. The mine workings will be made secure as part of the rebuild.
The opening of the Burnley High School has attracted criticism from some quarters – believing it could endanger the existence of nearby Hameldon Community College which has been undersubscribed since it opened.
Burnley High School, run by Chapel Street Community Schools Trust, currently has 32 children in its one year group.
Mrs Haddock said: “The timetable for the project is still being discussed in Whitehall and costs are being finalised. At this stage no figure has been put on the rebuild.”
The average cost to build a new secondary school today runs from £17m. to £24m.
The three-storey new school will include provision for a sixth form and accommodation for up to 650 pupils.
Mrs Haddock added: “In the meantime work will carry on in preparation for an expansion of our temporary school at the Parkhill business complex in Padiham Road.”
Additional classrooms, science facilities and play areas are being installed in time for the next school year beginning in September.
Outdoor sports fields are being made available at the Habergham site and indoor sports and technology will be utilised at the University Technical College in Trafalgar Street, Burnley.
Burnley High’s Head of School Mrs Dawn Forshaw said: “Ten weeks ago we were very disappointed when we learned we would not be moving from our current home at Parkhill in September.
“But the news we are to have a completely new school has banished the disappointment and filled us with excitement for the future.
“We are looking to welcome up to 90 new pupils to Burnley High in September and this announcement is a great fillip for those new students, our existing pupils, all the families and of, course, our staff.”
The former Habergham building has been empty since Burnley’s other five secondary schools moved into purpose-built facilities as part of the £250m. Building Schools For The Future programme.