New school hall hoped for Evenlode Primary School

THE VALE Council cabinet has approved plans to sell off surplus land surrounding Evenlode Primary School in a bid to fund the construction of a new school hall.

A report before cabinet on Monday, December 16, said: “The existing school hall is too small for the needs of the school resulting in a detrimental impact on the delivery of the national curriculum and difficulties in allowing full access to wheelchair users.” It added that a new hall would improve the learning environment of the school and be accessible to the whole community.

The report outlined that the school had “significantly extended” since it opened in the early 1970’s with capacity increasing from around 200 to 420 pupils. The school hall has not been extended to meet the increased pupil numbers and is a “substantial weakness” of the school.

Previous Estyn reports in 2004 and 2010 have highlighted the issue and recommended that rather than have a main hall of 120metres squared the school should provide a 150metres squared main hall with an additional small hall of 80metres squared for a school of its size.

The school Governing Body has already gained outline planning permission for the construction of a single house on the surplus land with a ground floor area of 320metres squared.

It is the second time that cabinet has approved the disposal of surplus land at the school in a bid to fund a new school hall, following an attempt to market the land in June 2011. The previous process required a minimum of three compliant bids for the land in exchange for the construction of the new hall, whereas the new approach involve the money raised from the sale being ring fenced for the construction of a new hall.

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