Work set to start on school 'super campus'

WORK to create a new education “super campus” in north west Ipswich is due to start next year - and should be complete by 2014.

IPSWICH: Work to create a new education “super campus” in north west Ipswich is due to start next year - and should be complete by 2014.

The existing Whitehouse Junior and Infants schools - and much of Westbourne Sports College - will disappear to be replaced by a new campus including a primary school, secondary school and special school.

The first stage will be the construction of a new primary school which will start next year and should be ready for the start of the academic year in September 2012.

That work will come after the existing infants and junior schools are merged from April - a merger that is set to be formally ratified by the county's cabinet next week.

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The new special school will replace Heathside and Belstead schools and will be built at the same time as Westbourne Sports College is remodelled.

No plans for the new schools have yet been produced.

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Westbourne headteacher Chris Edwards said he was hoping there would be no further delays.

He said: “When I first came here (in 2001) I was told we would have a new school by 2007. That has slipped and now we are looking at 2014.

“If that does go ahead then these could be very exciting times for us.”

The new schools would be built as part of the government's Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative - although the new special school would be built under a separate funding scheme.

Mr Edwards said: “I would like to create an education village feel on the campus from 7am to 7pm every day to provide services to a community that is not that well served at present.”

Designs for the new schools are unlikely to be published until next year - but the existing “heart” of the Westbourne building would be retained with its “wings” demolished and replaced by new buildings.

“We would very much like to see what could happen here - it would make the whole project come to life,” Mr Edwards added.

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