Hartlepool school to become dazzling 21st Century complex in £17million rebuild

Block C at High Tunstall College of Science which is to be rebuilt.
Block C at High Tunstall College of Science which is to be rebuilt.

A Hartlepool secondary school is set to undergo a major £17million rebuild to make it fit for the 21st Century.

Most of the buildings at High Tunstall College of Science in Elwick Road are due to be replaced for the first time since it opened in the early 1970s.

Business manager Ian Ness on the land set for school rebuild.

Business manager Ian Ness on the land set for school rebuild.

The school has been allocated £17.2million government funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as part of the nationwide Priority School Building Programme.

Work is hoped to start in May next year subject to planning permission and be open to pupils from September 2019.

Headteacher Mark Tilling told the Mail: “The buildings are well past their sell by date.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to build a school that is fit for purpose moving forward.”

The buildings are well past their sell by date

Headteacher Mark Tilling

Among the buildings set to be rebuilt are High Tunstall’s A, B and C blocks which have been in place since the school first opened in 1973.

The new building is likely to be located on school fields near D block, which is being retained and upgraded.

High Tunstall’s Life building, swimming pool, community centre and motor vehicle unit will also remain.

Mr Tilling added: “It’s very early days. We are now in the design stage.”

High Tunstall College of Science headteacher Mark Tilling. Picture by FRANK REID

High Tunstall College of Science headteacher Mark Tilling. Picture by FRANK REID

He assured parents that the building work would not interrupt teaching.

Ian Ness, High Tunstall’s school building manager, said the new building would support its commitment to Science, Technology, English and Maths (STEM) subjects and qualifications.

Mr Ness said: “STEM is very much a big priority in school. The new building means we will get up to date classrooms, science laboratories and technology areas that are fit for the 21st Century.”

High Tunstall plans to submit a planning application to the local authority by early next year.

BAM Construction, based in Gateshead, has been appointed as the lead contractor.

Project director Tony Fitzgerald said: “What we sought to do is listen carefully and understand the requirements and aspirations of the ESFA and the school to ensure we provide a high quality and efficient design solution to meet their needs, but also provide the ESFA with value for money.

“Our experience in the education sector is second to none, and BAM’s collaborative culture is always a very helpful resource when working on education buildings.”