A headteacher says it is all systems go for a Hartlepool secondary school after its plans for a major £17million rebuild were given the go-ahead.
High Tunstall College of Science, in Elwick Road, is set to see around three-quarters of the school, which dates back to the 1970s, replaced with a stat-of-the-art new building.
Work is due to start on site in September.
Headteacher Mark Tilling told the Mail: “We are over the moon.
“It means we can move forward with the next stage of our development.
“The process is going well and we look forward to welcoming contractors BAM on site in the near future to build our fantastic new state-of-the-art facilities.
“It is going to make a huge difference to the community.”
High Tunstall was one of five North East schools to receive funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as part of the nationwide Priority School Building Programme.
Its allocation is £17.2m and the new facilities will help High Tunstall to meet future student number demands from new housing in the area and the school’s increasing focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
Councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning committee unanimously supported the planning application to allow the new three-storey building to go ahead and to demolish old school blocks on the centre of the site.
Coun Brenda Loynes said: “It’s not before time. The building now is atrocious. It has been a long time coming, but I wholeheartedly support this application.”
Coun George Morris added: “I’m delighted that High Tunstall is getting new school buildings.”
Coun Kevin Cranney said he was pleased sprinklers are included in the plans adding: “I think it’s a wonderful scheme.”
The new building will include different departments, with specialist teaching spaces for design technology and science labs around a central atrium where the main hall, dining and activity area will be.
Only the Life Centre, swimming pool, and eco centre will remain, while the former Thornhill school, known as D Block, will be refurbished as part of the work.
Alan White, senior design manager for BAM Construction, said: “It’s great to get the plans through so quickly and we have seen the support of the council.”