£17m new look for city’s biggest school
Feb 11 2008 by Nick Coligan, Liverpool Echo
A MULTI-MILLION pound plan to transform Liverpool’s biggest school was unveiled today.
Hundreds of pupils at Walton’s Alsop High are being taught in mobile classrooms because the school has outgrown the original building.
But a £17.5m scheme to construct a new three-storey building and refurbish the existing 81-year-old school are now in the hands of council planners.
If its gets the go-ahead Alsop High, home to some 1,700 pupils - will be the first of the city’s schools to benefit from the ambitious Building Schools For The Future programme.
Education chiefs want to start work as soon as June.
That would move the project ahead of the more complicated schemes for West Derby and Gateacre comprehensives which involve complete rebuilds on playing fields.
Education officials want to:
Create 36 new classrooms for about 1,000 pupils with flexible walls so they can be merged into larger teaching spaces.
Replace mobile classrooms in the school grounds with landscaped seating and games areas.
Refurbish the existing 1926 building including knocking sets of three classrooms into two.
Move the school’s main entrance from busy Queens Drive to Walton Village, with separate ways in for pedestrians and vehicles.
Create 21st-century facilities like a dance studio, specialist business studies classrooms, a cybercafe and covered walkways linking different buildings.
The new complex would complement Alsop High’s recently-built IT and arts, music and drama premises and neighbouring sports centre.
If councillors approve the plans work would start with the demolition of the school gym to clear room for the new building.
Once that is finished pupils would move in allowing the 1926 premises to be refurbished.
The final phase would see children leave the mobile classrooms for good so the grounds can be landscaped.
The entire project is expected to finish in January 2011, although classrooms would be ready for September 2010.
Project manager Ben Walker said: “A lot of schools are shrinking. But Alsop is very popular and the whole design is based on keeping the school roll the same.
“The school previously grew haphazardly, development just took place wherever there was room.
“We want to join up the existing buildings to make movement around the school easier.”
Headteacher Phil Jamieson said: “This project would make a massive difference for both students and teachers. There is nothing like having a nice environment to work in.”