Shropshire Star

School reveals plan for expansion with new teaching block

A school has revealed plans to build a new teaching block to accommodate 300 extra pupils due to an increase in demand for places.

An artist’s impression of the proposed teaching block at Ercall Wood Technology College. Picture: Telford & Wrekin Council planning portal.

Proposals for Ercall Wood Technology College in Wellington include building a new three-storey teaching block which will ‘predominantly’ be used for science lessons.

The school currently has 949 pupils enrolled and the plans, submitted to Telford & Wrekin Council, would allow the ‘incremental increase of 300 students over a period of time’.

“The scheme has arisen from the increase in demand for local provision of secondary education and developing an existing established site is beneficial in many ways such as utilising existing infrastructure,” says the design and access statement submitted with the plans.

“This allows future demand to be met for people living locally and to encourage growth locally. The proposal is sited in the most efficient part of the overall site, not eroding into the open feel of the site and the provision of sports and play areas. Nestling into an undervalued part of the site, giving it purpose and presence whilst still providing the necessary service areas.”

The proposed teaching block includes 10 science labs, science preparation rooms, relevant stores and support ancillary rooms. There is also one standard classroom ‘allowing some flexibility’.

Plans include a single-story ground floor extension, which would provide an additional 128 seats for lunchtime dining in a ‘large open space’.

A covered area directly outside the dining hall is planned to be created to provide ‘outdoor breakout’ and there will be space allocated for food trucks.

To enable access to the new teaching block there will be minor internal alterations and re-allocation of classroom spaces. A small canopy is planned to be installed above the new student exit connecting to the new block.

The dedicated primary care team (PCT) teaching area will be relocated from the existing school building into the new teaching block.

“By providing this space in the new building allows for specific requirements for access to be met, such as a separate dedicated entrance secured with fencing and enclosed outdoor space, this allows a safe and secure space for the students that need it most,” the application adds.

Ercall Wood Technology College dates back to 1940s and was re-built in 2014 on the same site as the existing school as part of a £14million project under the Building Schools for the Future scheme.

The school is a three-storey ‘K’ shaped building with each leg forming a separate wing which denotes a subject area, with a central core for circulation and meeting points.

“There is strong emphasis on sports at this academy and loss of sports pitches has been carefully avoided, inevitably some area has been lost however this has been kept to an absolute minimum and closely informed the siting of the new building,” the applicant added.

“The development of the existing academy provided ample parking, futureproofing the site for future proposals, therefore the current proposal provides a small number of additional spaces.

“The existing and proposed buildings are centrally located on the site, creating a largely open site, providing long views from the building across the car park and to the south/ south-east, which during school hours when there is access to the site, provides good natural surveillance.”

Plans can be viewed on the Telford & Wrekin Council’s website planning portal. Comments can be made during the consultation phase which ends on December 11.

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