School bids for funds for new teaching block

PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 July 2019

Nigel Dando taking the Jill Dando News Centre to pupils at Ashcombe Primary School last year to help them run their journalism club and produce their Ashcombe Eye newspaper.

Nigel Dando taking the Jill Dando News Centre to pupils at Ashcombe Primary School last year to help them run their journalism club and produce their Ashcombe Eye newspaper.

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Leaders of a Weston school are hoping to build a new teaching block after badgers destroyed the foundations of two buildings.

Ashcombe Primary School, in Earlham Grove, comprises of three teaching blocks - two of which date back to 1969 and are suffering from severe timber decay.

The buildings were patched up six years ago, but experts have said repairs are 'no longer economically viable'.

Badger setts have undermined the foundations, there is also water damage to the flooring and many of the windows now do not open.

The school's board of governors has applied to North Somerset Council for planning permission to knock down the single storey classrooms and build an extension to the school building.

Liz Roberts, chairman of governors, said: "We're lucky to have some great facilities here at Ashcombe but unfortunately some of our buildings have also seen better days.

"We're delighted to be able to share our plans for an extension to our main building, which we are looking to the Department for Education (DfE) to support.

"This will mean we can provide the great learning environment throughout the school which all our students deserve."

The two buildings house a school hall, a kitchen, six offices and additional teaching spaces.

Significant funding was spent in 2013 to prolong the life of the buildings, by re-cladding the hall, replacing the windows and doors with uPVC and badger exclusion.

Due to the inherent structural issues and movement of the building from the undermined foundations, the new cladding is failing and many of the windows no longer open.

The badger sett has been established elsewhere on site, but the animals are still getting through the exclusion fencing and using the area as a toilet, posing hygiene issues to children and staff.

The proposed complex will be built alongside the newer teaching block, as an extension to the site.

It will enable all classes to be accommodated in one building.

The extension will also include a visitor's reception at the front of the school, next to the car park.

The school's funding bid will go to the DfE in the autumn and the school should find out if it has been successful in the new year.

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