WORK to demolish a former city primary to make way for a state-of-the-art special school has started.
Diggers arrived this week on the Ford Estate site where the old Quarry View Primary School is to make way for a new £5million building for Sunderland’s Maplewood School.
The school – which caters for primary aged youngsters with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties – is currently based in Redcar Road, Red House.
Ofsted inspectors praised the educational provision Maplewood gives the 60 children, but noted that the building was not suitable for their needs.
Sunderland City Council said the existing Red House site provided poor access for pupils, had no specialised outdoor areas for either students or the community and limited staff parking.
Last year members approved plans to rebuild the school on the site of the old Quarry View Primary in St Luke’s Road, which was left vacant when it merged with the former Pennywell School to create Academy 360.
Maplewood School headteacher Gary Mellefont, said all the staff, pupils and parents were excited about getting a new building.
He said: “This school is definitely for the 21st century and is one of the only schools like this to be built in isolation rather than being attached to another place.”
The new school will include seven classrooms, a main hall and dining room, an ICT suite, library and special facilities such as therapy spaces.
There will also be a parents’ room, a wildlife area, a games area and new vehicle access and parking.
The council hopes to make the new school as green as possible, with special features including a rainwater recycling system and presence-sensing lighting controls.
Mr Mellefont said Maplewood has provided educational support for children throughout Sunderland for more than 45 years and this new school would ensure it continued to provide the highest standards of education and support for children with complex needs.