First look at new technology school plans after historic Wolverhampton school demolished – Express & Star

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All that remains of a historic former primary school in Wolverhampton is a pile of rubble – after bulldozers moved in to demolish the 112-year-old building to make way for a new technology learning centre.
Development of the former Edward the Elder primary school site in Lichfield Road, Wednesfield, is now moving forward with plans for the proposed Wednesfield Technology Primary School going before the council on September 13.
Submitted by Birmingham-based Tilbury Douglas Construction Ltd, the application for the new two-storey school will also include a full refurbishment of the existing lodge building, which remains on the land.
If approved, the plans will see a hard play area being created alongside the new school building. The current playing field will also be restored with the addition of a new sports pitch.
Wolverhampton’s education chief, Labour councillor Chris Burden, said that although it was sad to see the old building demolished, the new school would provide a wealth of modern facilities for a wide range of pupils.
“It has been great to hear all of the different stories people have of their time at school in this part of Wolverhampton,” he said.
“From reading the planning application, it’s clear that the developer is liaising with the local community and taking their concerns into account.
“This part of Wolverhampton deserves a new high-tech school which prepares students for the modern world. Like others, I wish that would have been possible within the old buildings, but the new building will be fully accessible for disabled students, and able to take more students in a specifically designed building.
“This will also help to address provision in this side of the city and ensure there is capacity to address the growing population.
“I hope that 100 years from now, people will fondly remember the time they spent at this new school, as it provides for the hundreds of new families who live in Wednesfield,” added Cllr Burden, who is the council’s cabinet member for education, skills and work.
Although not listed, the landmark former structure – one of the city’s oldest school buildings – dated back to 1910 but had stood empty and almost forgotten since 2007. The date stone has been carefully removed and will be repositioned adjacent to the entrance of the new development.
Former mayor Councillor Greg Brackenridge said: “The proposals for a new technical school on the former Wednesfield village primary/Edward the Elder school site in Lichfield Road are to be welcomed, as school places are in high demand in our area.
“I am particularly pleased that the current lodge building on the site is to remain, as it links historically to the original school. I understand that the building is to be utilised as a support room for students and families.
“Also, I am aware of the concerns of some local residents and businesses regarding parking issues in the area expressed during the public consultation, and these matters will be taken into account at the planning committee meeting in September.
“The proposed ‘drop off’ loop based on the site is designed to alleviate any potential problems and ensure students arrive safely.
“Education is a key priority for all communities. Should the proposal be approved, the expansion of educational opportunities for local children will serve the future generations of Wednesfield,” he added.
Once open, the number of pupils at the school is anticipated to be 420 primary and 26 (aged three to four) at the onsite nursery. There will be 45 full-time staff when the establishment is operating at capacity.
The school, which will be run by the Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, is expected to open in September 2023.
By Joe Sweeney

Local Democracy Reporter covering Wolverhampton.

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