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PICTURES: Dilapidated Walsall school gets £4m boost to build new block

By Jack Averty | Walsall | Education | Published:

A dilapidated school which has been repeatedly refused funding has finally secured a £4 million grant to build a new teaching block.

Work on the facility at Joseph Leckie Academy will start in January and it will be finished by March 2019. It will feature 14 classrooms in the block with the plans branded as ‘world class’ by principal Keith Whittlestone.

The £3.89m grant has been awarded by the Education Funding Agency.

The new classrooms will be used for teaching modern foreign languages, business studies, music, health, social and child care and learning support/special educational needs. In addition to the classrooms there will be a new entrance/foyer and reception areas as well as administrative offices. This is on top of social areas to include seating, one or two multi use game areas

Mr Whittlestone said: “This grant of £3.89 million will be supplemented by a significant amount from the Academy’s budget to provide world class teaching facilities which will boost the students and staff alike.

"As a result of £3.89 million of construction work, the East End of the main teaching block which for many years has formed part of the iconic frontage on Walstead Road West will be demolished and replaced with a two-storey structure, which features modern heating, lighting and ventilation systems to ensure excellent energy efficiency.

"This investment in our Academy will further transform the learning environment for our students and their teachers. Ensuring that all of our students have access to the best possible facilities is part of our commitment to help them to reach their potential. These buildings will provide ultra -modern, fit-for- purpose facilities for our students for many years to come.

"As an academy, we feel particularly fortunate to have been awarded this funding to enable Joseph Leckie Academy’s students and families in Walsall to access a fantastic new building. Additionally at Joseph Leckie Academy we will be more able to support our lifelong learners through enabling the communities we serve to develop its own learning and engagement together”.

After winning this grant the academy will put a second bid in in December for a further £4m to provide further state of the art facilities for sixth form teaching rooms, private study and social areas, library/resources centre, dining, kitchen and administrative spaces.

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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