SOMERSET NEWS: Contractor agreed for £9-million school expansion
A PLANNED expansion of a Taunton special school costing £9-million took a major step forward today after Somerset County Council’s Cabinet agreed a contractor.
Last month, a planning application was submitted for an expansion to Selworthy School, which currently caters for both primary and secondary school pupils with special educational needs/disabilities (SEND).
The new Selworthy School expansion, known as Hazelbrook Campus, will be built on the former St Augustine site in Taunton.
Somerset County Council’s cabinet committee agreed on Monday (February 12, 2018) to award the contract for the work to Willmott Dixon, pending planning approval and funding approval by the full council later this month.
The new campus will ensure up to 100 children with complex SEND from Taunton and the surrounding area will be able to access education much closer to home.
This enables families to engage much more closely with the school and helps develop a sense of community.
Willmott Dixon are also contracted to build a primary school at Nerrols Farm, Taunton, known locally as Northwalls Grange.
Plans for the new 420-place primary school, including a nursery, are also progressing well with a planning application having been submitted last month and a funding decision due at the same time as the Hazelbrook Campus project later this month.
Both schools are due to be complete by July 2019.
PHOTO - TOP: The planned Hazelbrook Campus.
PHOTO - RIGHT: Artist's impression of the new Nerrols Primary School.
Neal Stephens, managing director of Willmott Dixon, said: “We are delighted to be working together with Somerset County Council at Hazelbrook Campus and Nerrols Primary School, as part of the Council’s ambitious school building and investment programme.
“We look forward to bringing to life the vision for these new schools, whilst maximising local employment and training opportunities for the surrounding community.”
The proposed investment is part of the biggest school building and improvement programme in Somerset for generations – a £140m investment in children and young people –formally unveiled by Somerset County Council in January.
The authority plans to build 24 new or replaced and expanded schools around the county over the next seven to ten years to meet the demand for places from the growing numbers of children and young people.
Cllr Frances Nicholson, the council’s spokesman for children and families, said: “We are committed to improving and enhancing the lives of all children in Somerset whatever their abilities and challenges.
"I am proud that Somerset County Council is investing in one of the largest school building and improvement programmes in our county for generations.
"Over £140m will ensure our children have new, replaced or expanded school buildings that will meet their needs and the needs of our communities now and in the future.”