The Dorset County Council Cabinet voted unanimously this morning to allow us to begin construction at the Swanage Middle School site in the New Year. This follows consultation with other Purbeck schools and the Office of the Schools Adjudicator, which confirmed it was a matter purely for the school and LA to decide.
The planning application was also submitted today, which means that, subject to planning being granted at the end of January, The Swanage School build process will get underway during February Half Term week. That means we remain on course to get the keys for Christmas next year and move into the new building in January 2014, after the first term at Harrow House.
Having met with our builders, Kier, both the Middle School and DCC were entirely happy that carefully managed works on the far side of the very large playing field would have no adverse effect on SMS pupils or staff. In fact, there should be exciting educational opportunities to engage pupils in the process, as at the hundreds of other schools that Kier have built. The works site will be totally separated from the school, accessed solely from Washpond Lane, and entirely surrounded by secure 8ft tall hoardings. All of the usual SMS summer term sports facilities will be provided as normal.
A big thank you goes from Education Swanage to Swanage Middle School and to DCC. We're particularly grateful to the Swanage Middle School Governing Body, to acting Director of Children's Services, Jackie Last, and Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Cllr Toni Coombs, for taking the time to attend meetings, look at our plans and understand the huge opportunity they bring to Swanage and the surrounding area.
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