Work set to begin on former Letchworth grammar school
PUBLISHED: 17:05 20 June 2013
Â© Christian Trampenau
WORK to refurbish a former grammar school will begin imminently so a new studio school can move into it, bringing it back into use.
The former grammar school on Broadway, Letchworth GC, is to become the long-term home of the Da Vinci Studio School of Creative Enterprise, sponsored by North Hertfordshire College.
The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation bought the building to bring it back into use after discussions with the college.
Signe Sutherland, principal of North Hertfordshire College, said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to offer students a genuine insight into the creative industries.
“Working closely with the heritage foundation has enabled us to take a lead in developing new creative facilities within the town.”
Its reopening is part of the foundation’s plans to revitalise Broadway Gardens as the setting for a new cultural hub.
The studio school is part of the heritage foundation’s strategy for adding cultural vibrancy to the town, with a new arts programme and plans for new arts investment and facilities.
John Lewis, the foundation’s chief executive officer, said: “We’re pleased to have been a catalyst for North Hertfordshire College to breathe new life into the old grammar school. Having these staff and students in Letchworth will bring benefits for the town centre and the whole community.”
The refurbishment will be funded by the Department for Education.
Donna Lodge, principal of the Da Vinci Studio School, said: “This is such an exciting time to unleash the creative potential within the 14-19-year-olds in the local area. A fantastic new learning environment will be created in the former grammar school buildings.”
The college has also expanded into the former town hall on Broadway, owned by North Herts District Council.
The Da Vinci Studio School will open this September in the Da Vinci Hall, which is the former Plinston, next door, while the grammar school is refurbished.
The plan is to open the building in September 2014.
The grammar school building has been used sporadically since it closed in 1974.