New block for Ipswich school

PREPARATIONS are today underway for a £2m arts and humanities block at St Alban's Catholic High School.The school, in Digby Road, Ipswich is the only denominational school in South Suffolk and is currently over subscribed.

PREPARATIONS are today underway for a £2m arts and humanities block at St Alban's Catholic High School.

The school, in Digby Road, Ipswich is the only denominational school in South Suffolk and is currently over subscribed.

The school has seen a number of appeals concerning its admissions in recent years and has struggled to cater for all applicants.

As a result, the school will be increasing its intake by 30 pupils in September, with an extra form created in year seven.


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This expansion will continue over a five year period with the number of pupils at the school eventually reaching 990.

It is hoped that work on the new block will be finished before the new school year in line with the school's growing intake.

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Deputy head Sean Hayes said: "Nationally there has been a growth in popularity in denominational schools and we are currently oversubscribed.

"The work is essential as the school is growing and we hope that it will be finished by September as planned.

"We are really excited about these developments as are the pupils, at least one year will miss out as they will not be here when the work is finished but the building will benefit the new students."

Included in the development will be a music room; three practice music rooms; a kiln room; four classrooms for art, geography, history and religious education, a drama studio and a hall.

The hall will be connected to the drama studio and will contain lights and a sound system for performances. It will be also used as a display area for GCSE work and as an assembly hall.

The project will also see the removal of several temporary classrooms, the provision of a chapel and the refurbishment of design and Technology facilities.

External work will also be carried out on social areas with a turning circle for buses included to allow school vehicles to drive to the building.

Funding for the project came after the school approached the Department for Education and Skills asking for additional accommodation.

This was supported by the local education authority who have paid the £2m costs with the help of Catholic Diocese of East Anglia – the diocese is required to pay ten percent of building cost on all voluntary aided schools.

The last expansion at the school was in 1998 when a Sixth Form was added and new facilities were provided for science and technology.

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