Crumbling Washington school finally to be rebuilt

Usworth Grange Primary School, Washington.
Usworth Grange Primary School, Washington.
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A CRUMBLING school is finally set to be rebuilt now that planning chiefs have given a long-awaited development the green light.

Work on Usworth Grange Primary School in Sulgrave, could start within months after Sunderland City Council’s development control sub-committee for Washington agreed to the plans.

The school, which has room for more than 200 pupils, was built in the 1960s as a short-term measure to educate children born during a baby boom in the town, but it was not intended back then to have a lifespan of more than 25 years.

Redevelopment of the school was recently made a high priority by the Government after it was rated as one the 15 most dilapidated schools in England.

Building firm Sir Robert McAlpine has been given a £64million contract to rebuild the primary and eight other schools elsewhere in the North East.

The plans, submitted by Education Secretary Michael Gove, will see the existing site demolished and new school buildings built in their place, along with hard and soft play areas.

Two main blocks in use at the school are to be replaced by a T-shaped structure, with junior and infant classrooms brought together under one roof, along with a hall, kitchen and plant areas.

The entrance to Usworth Grange will stay as it is, with 38 parking spaces for staff and visitors.

However, the turning circle for vehicles will be enlarged to cope with bigger delivery lorries.

An undercover cycle area is to be installed and trees planted, with shrubs and grass put in place to create a screen between the school and homes.

Washington North councillor Peter Walker said: “This is a very welcome report. It is an area of high deprivation, and I am sure this will enhance the area a lot.

“I am sure the pupils of the school and residents living nearby will welcome it too.”