Image demonstrating Drop-in to see the designs for new Hexham schools

Drop-in to see the designs for new Hexham schools

Public consultation events on the designs for two new schools in Hexham will take place next week.

Families, residents and the wider community in and around Hexham are invited to come along to the drop-in events to find out more, and have their say.

The first event is on Wednesday 11 September from 5pm until 8pm and the second on Saturday 14 September from 9.30am to 12.30pm - both in the Winter Gardens at the Hydro building, Queen Elizabeth High School.

Two weeks ago Northumberland County Council announced that Galliford Try is the preferred bidder for the scheme, and the authority will be entering into a pre-construction services agreement with them in order to move to the next stages.

The council has been working closely with Hadrian Learning Trust on the proposals which will see the current Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School co-located on one site.

In the proposed design the two schools will retain their own distinctiveness and spaces for each age group, while allowing the Trust as a whole to benefit from the educational, operational and financial benefits of sharing one site.

The Grade II listed Hydro building will be retained and the new buildings developed to its rear - with the middle school to the south and high school to the north.

The proposals include refurbishment and extension of the historic Hydro building and Winter Gardens, a new sports block, significantly improved outdoor sports provision, and new car parking and bus drop off areas.

The estimated cost of the construction of the new buildings is £36.1m.  This is being largely funded by Northumberland County Council with a contribution from the Government’s Department for Education.

Councillor Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council said:  “I would urge everyone to come along to the consultation on these plans to find out more.  

“We believe that the designers have come up with an innovative concept which will provide fantastic learning spaces for our young people alongside first class leisure and community facilities.  We are very keen to share the details with everyone, and to get thoughts and comments.”

Graeme Atkins, executive headteacher at Hadrian Learning Trust, said:  “We are really excited about the design proposals and look forward to sharing them with our students, staff, parents and other stakeholders at the consultation events.”

There will be an opportunity at the drop‐in events to record any specific questions, queries or comments.

It is expected that a planning application will be submitted following this consultation.  Once permission is received, construction work would begin early in 2020, and the new schools will open in September 2021.
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