Tuesday, July 24, 2018

News: First look at Rotherham's newest school

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Draft designs for the Waverley Junior Academy, the new school proposed for the Waverley development in Rotherham, have been submitted.

Only the second new school built in Rotherham in the last 25 years, the school will form a central part of the new Waverley community, which is fast taking shape on the site of the former Orgreave Colliery. The £6m Eastwood Village Primary School opened in 2015.

Last year, Aston Community Education Trust (ACET) was appointed as the sponsor for the new school at Waverely by the Regional Schools Commissioner, following the completion of the sponsor selection process.

Now a planning application has been submitted which will update the Waverley masterplan and include designs for the new primary academy that is set to be built on land at Highfield Lane and Waverley Walk.

Drawn up by Rotherham Council officers and Ellis Williams architects, the plans show how the new building will fit within the approved design code for the area which is Yorkshire's largest ever brownfield mixed-use development and is being brought forward by regeneration company Harworth Group plc.

There are plans to build 3,890 new homes on the Waverley development site and local infrastructure will include new primary school provision, community facilities and leisure facilities.

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The building, of 1.5 or 2 storeys high, would front Waverley Walk, creating a "civic presence." A signage / feature intervention could be used to create a main entrance on the landmark corner of the plot.

Sports pitches, wildlife areas and outdoor classrooms are also shown on the designs. Play areas would be located so they are not adjacent to surrounding streets and residential areas. An area for expansion, for example a new sports hall, has also been designed into the proposal.

The masterplan includes a proposed public square in front of the school and it is proposed to omit car parking in front of the school to provide a car-free feel to this section of the Waverley Walk.

Speaking last year when announced as the new school sponsor, Eunice Newton, chief executive of ACET said: "All of the team are absolutely delighted to hear that the new Waverley school will be part of the ACET family and we intend it to be a flagship school for the 21st century.

"We are hugely excited to be involved with the creation of a thriving community and to establish a school from scratch.

"Our core values will be embedded at the Waverley school, as indeed they are at all ACET schools, not least that all learners will achieve and we shall leave no child behind."

Occupation of the 550th dwelling on the site releases funds for the design / procurement process for a primary school and the occupation of the 750th dwelling will release funds for the building of the new primary school. The trigger points have been changed through the planning process. Occupation of the 1,750 dwelling will trigger the process to start the development of a second Waverley school.

Building work has been scheduled to start in June 2019 with the school opening in September 2020.

Images: RMBC / Ellis Williams

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