AN URGENTLY needed multi-million pound rebuild of a Poole special school has been given the green light.
Montacute School at Canford Heath has been granted planning permission by Poole planners for a phased redevelopment of the existing school and public swimming pool.
The special school academy educates 75 pupils between the ages of two and 19 years with severe, complex or profound and multiple learning difficulties.
Staff and pupils were left bitterly disappointed after being earmarked for a £10million total rebuild under the government’s Building Schools for the Future project, which was axed in 2010.
But the school then made a successful bid to the Priority Schools Building Programme of around £5million after being deemed top priority for immediate action.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to improve provision for the children and families that Montacute School serves,” said Cllr Mike White, pictured, portfolio holder for major projects, Borough of Poole.
“It also provided an opportunity for the council to deliver on other priorities including a new community swimming pool.
“The existing Lodge Hill pool is a well used and valued community facility but we are aware it is reaching the end of its operational life.
“The new pool, funded by Borough of Poole, will be within the school development and be of great benefit to pupils and the local community.”
The first phase of development will see a new school and swimming pool built north of the current building, with vehicle access from Canford Heath Road.
“This will be followed by demolition of the old school and pool.
A two-storey building will allow the school to increase in size to 85 pupils and the 12m by 8m swimming pool costing around £500,000 will be equipped with modern lifting equipment.
Construction of the new school is due to start in April and take approximately a year. Remaining land, to be used for housing, will not be developed until this is completed.