Crookall to seek £8m for new school

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Construction of a new primary school building in Douglas will start in January if Tynwald approves spending of £8.9 million.

The new Henry Bloom Noble School – replacing the current Ballacloan and Fairfield sites – will be built on part of the old Noble’s Hospital site in Westmoreland Road.

In 2010, Tynwald granted the Department of Education and Children approval to spend £928,000 demolishing some of the existing buildings and carry out other preparatory works on the site.

This has been successfully completed.

Both the 106-year-old Ballacloan building in Demesne Road, and the 140-year-old Fairfield building, in Tynwald Street, fail to meet modern education standards but their limited footprints mean they can’t be adapted, said Education Minister Tim Crookall.

Open space for sport and activity – something key to government policy – is particularly lacking, something the new site would boast, the Minister said.

He added: ‘The existing buildings are not suitable for education of future generations of children.

‘While they would require costly work to lengthen their lives, they won’t provide the opportunities for future generations that a new, single, school will.

‘The educational benefits aside, the running costs of a new, larger building and grounds would be offset by savings in moving from a split site school in older, much less energy efficient buildings.

‘As well as an investment in our children, this project would provide welcome work to contractors and sub contractors at this time.’

The school would be open to pupils aged five to 11 at the start of the 2016-17 academic year.

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