Westfield Academy to be demolished and rebuilt with £20 million Government grant (From Watford Observer)
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Westfield Academy to be demolished and rebuilt with £20 million Government grant
West Watford will get the school "it needs and deserves" following a £20 million government grant.
Westfield Academy, in Tolpits Lane, is destined to be demolished and a new school built in its place after it received a grant from the Department for Education.
The £20 million makeover will see the school’s aging facilities demolished and replaced with modern classrooms.
The school’s principal, Tim Body, said: "This is very exciting time. We will be having a brand new school from scratch.
"The design is green and eco-friendly, but it is also very forward thinking when it comes to modern ideas on teaching.
"The new design will allow the flexibility to make better use of different types of learning environment, like libraries and learning zones."
New features will include seven Information Communication Technology rooms, a purpose-built Special Education Needs centre with dedicated therapy rooms, five new outdoor tennis courts and one county standard football pitch.
The school has been working on the redevelopment programme with the Education Funding Agency for the past two years.
Mr Body added: "We have been meeting with the design team regularly over the past two years to ensure that this community gets the school that it needs and deserves.
"We are currently a good school, but we are not satisfied with that. We want this build to be the catalyst to make us one of the best in the country. It may seem like a lofty ambition, but our goal is to strive for excellence."
Mr Body said the new facilities will be open to the public and there are plans to develop adult evening education and sports classes.
He added: "Of course this is about offering the best possible opportunities for the pupils but it is also about the local people. Our hope is that the school becomes a community hub for education and excellence."
"We want to make partnerships with primary schools, with community groups and local businesses."
Pupil intake is also expected to increase, with a 25 percent rise in students once the work is completed.
Work is due to start at the end of the year and should be completed by September 2016.
The school will remain open during the redevelopment, with the new facilities being built alongside the existing one.
Residents are invited to the public consultation event at the school which is being held on Tuesday, April 22 at 3.30pm.
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