First look at Calderdale’s new £8.6m schools

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A new primary school will be built in Halifax after an old one is demolished.

The proposals for Moorside Community Primary School in Illingworth will also include a new sports area equipped for football, hockey, netball and basketball, on Keighley Road.

Headteacher Dani Worthington said: “It is exciting to finally get there and to be able to give the children what they deserve.

“It will be a vibrant, bright environment for the pupils.

“The age of the current building and its boiler meant that it would no longer be cost effective.”

She said money had been put aside for a new building for some time but the project was repeatedly delayed.

She said the new site would also be safe as pupils currently have to travel between two buildings, crossing a public footpath. A plaque that is currently displayed on a wall in the existing building that marks the founding of a “school for the poor” in 1818 will be moved to the new building to form a feature about Moorside’s history.

Work on the new building is expected to start in the summer holiday and it is hoped that the new site will be completed by the beginning of the school year in 2018.

Miss Worthington noted that pupils would move to the new site 200 years after the point that the school was founded. Members of Calderdale Council’s planning committee gave the green light at a meeting on Tuesday.

Concerns were raised that a dark blue or grey colour that is intended to be used for some parts of the outside could be an eyesore for nearby homes.

Planning committee members said they understood the concern and would add a condition that the colour used must be brighter.

Calderdale Council is investing £8.6 million to rebuild Copley Primary School and Moorside Community Primary School in Ovenden.

It is expected that the new schools will be completed in time for the new term in September 2018.

Councillor Megan Swift, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “Helping to ensure that young people achieve their potential through the best possible learning experience is one of the Council’s priorities. We are excited to invest in new buildings at Copley and Moorside Schools to provide modern, state-of-the-art facilities. It’s not viable to keep maintaining old and costly schools, and the savings will be invested into further boosting pupils’ education.”

Nan Oldfield, Headteacher at Copley Primary School, said: “As a school we are really looking forward to the completion of the new build for all the children and parents of Copley School both now and in the future.”