New school on playing fields

SPECIALIST surveys are to be carried out on Nailsea School's playing fields to assess the best spot to build a new £28.9 million secondary

SPECIALIST surveys are to be carried out on Nailsea School's playing fields to assess the best spot to build a new £28.9 million secondary school for the town.The Department of Education and Skills (DfES) has allocated North Somerset Council just under £28.9 million to rebuild the secondary school on its current site by the end of 2009.The existing school playing fields have been identified as the location for the new school and the surveys will determine the best position for the new building on the site.The council has appointed consultant engineers Faber Maunsell to carry out the work which will be done in two phases.Initially a geotechnical survey will be carried out where the playing fields will be scanned to highlight any potential underground problems.This will be followed by a geotechnical survey which will involve drilling boreholes and digging trenches to confirm the most suitable position for the new building.The consultants will also be carrying out a geophysical survey of the Golden Valley site, which is owned by Nailsea School, with a view to using part of the area for temporary sports pitches while the new school is being built.North Somerset Council executive member for children and young people's services Councillor Jeremy Blatchford said: "The surveys are normal practice for a building project of this scale."In this case the work is particularly important because Nailsea used to be a mining area."We have a lot of historical data in the site earmarked for the new school which does not show anything up, but we need to carry out a thorough examination of the ground to ensure it provides a suitable location for the new building."North Somerset Council agreed to take up the DfES offer of being a Building Schools for the Future (BSF) one school pathfinder project authority.It nominated Nailsea School to be rebuilt, with money for the project - £28,888,804 being confirmed in January this year.The project must be delivered by the end of 2009 and the authority will be required to submit quarterly reports to the DfES to keep it up-to-date with progress.The scheme is the single largest building project ever undertaken by the council.

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