School extension plan

EXTENSION SITE: New dining and post-16 facilities could be built at this area at Ballakermeen High School, Douglas

EXTENSION SITE: New dining and post-16 facilities could be built at this area at Ballakermeen High School, Douglas

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PLANS for a three-storey extension at Ballakermeen High School, in Douglas, go on public display on Wednesday.

The £3.2m project involves extending the dining and post-16 facilities by building an extension on the hard surfaced area of the playground.

Department of Education and Children estates director Richard Collister said: ‘Dining provision, accommodation for post-16 students and accommodation for examinations are under severe pressure and these three issues are addressed in this project.

‘The dining hall currently caters for about 300 per sitting for a school population of over 1,500 students, 180 teachers and support staff.

‘The post-16 area was constructed some 12 years ago for 100 students and there are presently in excess of 300.’

A second servery and dining hall would be created on the ground floor.

The first and second floors provide an extension to the post-16 common room, study area, classroom and staff offices facilities.

Mr Collister said: ‘The spaces created are designed as flexible multi-use spaces.

‘Moveable walls are included on the two post-16 accommodation floors to give flexibility to teaching and study spaces and to allow areas to be used for examination purposes.

‘The dining hall on the ground floor can additionally be used for examination purposes or for community use.’

In addition, the playground area next to the extension would be remodelled to give a ‘more relaxed space’.

The bitmac surfaces will be replaced with block paving, broken up by patterning and some soft landscape planting.

Further staff parking will be provided by the demolition of the former funeral directors.

Head teacher Adrienne Burnett has written to neighbours of the school inviting them to see the plans at the school’s post 16 centre on Wednesday, from 5pm-7pm.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the proposals is also welcome.

Representatives from the DEC, the design team and the school will be attending to answer any questions.

Planning applications for the scheme, currently in its design stage, will be submitted following consideration of comments received.

The DEC hopes to take the project to Tynwald in July 2013, with a phased hand-over of the project which would see post-16, first and second floor levels operational for September 2014, with the ground floor dining/kitchen opening after the October half term.

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