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Plans for new room at Powerstock School
PLANS have now gone in to add an extra classroom to the fire-ravaged Powerstock School – to ensure the school’s future.
And headteacher Jean-Paul Draper is urging parents and well-wishers to write in support of the adaptations.
He said: “The more support we can get the better.”
It is just over a year since the disastrous blaze destroyed the Victorian Grade II-listed main school room building.
Now it has a new roof and has been glazed, headteacher Jean-Paul Draper has put in a planning application to create a new classroom in what was the roof space.
He said they had the money for the alterations from the Salisbury Diocese but would need to get the project started by the end of the financial year or risk losing it.
He said: “Prior to the fire there was a horrible suspended ceiling so we have drawn up some plans for a classroom space.”
The aim is to be back in the completed building by the start of the school year next year, he said, even though there had been delays getting a site meeting with planning and listed buildings officers to discuss what could be done.
The school believes it is the ideal time to upgrade the school’s facilities while the 1873 building is being restored to make the school viable for the future.
It would also mean they could get rid of the ‘temporary’ and dilapidated mobile 70s classroom at the back of the school.
Comments can be submitted to West Dorset District Council until December 14.
Mr Draper said the proposed works represent the minimum necessary to keep the school sustainable in the 21st century.
For a number of years the school has been operating at a disadvantage, falling far short of modern standards and expectations, he says.
“The problems impose inefficiencies in supervision, security, staffing, servicing, heating, communications and so on.
“The difficulties arising from the current arrangement impinge directly on the pupils, staff and the school as a whole, adding significantly to the day-to-day running costs.”
Not doing the work would mean the school will become increasingly unable to maintain acceptable standards of facilities and economic viability, he adds.
The benefit of the new suspended classroom is that it would not be an irreversible addition to the listed building.