Works starts to create 300 extra places at oversubscribed school
- Credit: Norfolk County Council
Work is under way to create extra places at a suburban high school oversubscribed due to housing developments in the area.
A new standalone three-storey teaching block is being built at Ormiston Victory Academy on Middleton Crescent in Costessey, allowing the school to teach an extra 300 11 to 16-year-olds, taking its capacity to 1,500.
The £8.1m expansion of the school, which is run by the Ormiston Academies Trust, is in response to growing demand for places and will include 14 extra classrooms as well as the refurbishment of the existing buildings.
Parents have previously expressed frustration that children from the area and surrounding villages and parishes like Easton cannot secure places at the school despite living nearby.
Many have been left travelling longer distances, including into Norwich, to attend schools that are not their first choice.
John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services at Norfolk County Council, said: “It’s great to see this building project under way. It will bring much needed school places to the area and support many generations of Costessey children.
“As a council we are investing millions of pounds in developing school places in growing communities, so that children have access to good quality education near to where they live.”
Planning permission for the new building was granted earlier this year after road improvements were announced to ease concerns about the impact of extra traffic.
The highways authority said additional double yellow lines should be painted, mainly around Richmond Road junctions, with an improved crossing built on Richmond Road.
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Pentaco Construction has been appointed to undertake the work, which is one of eight projects to expand existing schools or build new ones around the county.
The work is expected to be completed by October 2022.
Sharon Blundell, county councillor for Costessey said: “I am delighted that Ormiston Victory Academy is finally expanding as it is much needed in the area, due to extra housing developments which have happened over the years.
“It will also bring much needed improvements to the Richmond Road area and provide a safer area for the pupils.
“I hope the staff and pupils enjoy the new improvements that are being made.”