Work on multi-million pound rebuild of Highfield School in Letchworth begins

An artist's impression of life at the redeveloped Highfield School.

An artist's impression of life at the redeveloped Highfield School. - Credit: Archant

After a year-long delay, building work on the multi-million pound upgrade of Letchworth’s Highfield School will finally start on Monday.

Site clearance will begin by contractor Kier Construction, to be followed by a formal groundbreaking ceremony at the end of the month.

Head Ian Morris said: “We are delighted to finally be able to start the new build so that students will benefit from this brand new learning environment.”

The current building has been there since the 1960s, and will be replaced with a new £15m facility.

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald said: “After the delays, I am delighted that the work is starting on the rebuilding of the school.

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“This is a multi-million pound project which I have supported and will transform the facilities and allow continued progress at this popular local school. I congratulate everyone involved.”

Funding for the scheme was secured through the Priority Schools building programme, part of the Education Funding Agency.

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Kier senior project manager Ian Powell said: “We are really looking forward to moving onto site next week to start work.

“We will liaise closely with staff at the school throughout the build and make every effort to ensure that any disruption to the students’ learning is minimised.

“The pupils will be in a unique position as they will be able to watch their new school develop around them from the ground up.

“We hope to engage with as many students as possible during the construction programme to show them exactly what is involved in building a large-scale project of this nature. We’re excited to get started.”

The new building is due to open to students and staff in January 2017, before the current building is demolished.

The original school site will be turned into communal areas such as gardens, fields and a sports facility.

The development will include a hard and soft surface play area, car park and multiuse games area.

About 1,050 students, aged between 11 and 18, are on the roll at Highfield.

The redevelopment plans were originally rejected by the North Herts District Council planning committee last year, but the decision was overturned by a planning inspectorate in January.

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