Release date: 3 March 2021
A major milestone has been reached in the project to rebuild Woodlands Meed College and the new facilities are now expected to be completed five months earlier than originally scheduled.
West Sussex County Council has signed the contract committing up to £20m of capital funding to rebuilding the college building on its current playing field site in Birchwood Grove Road, Burgess Hill.
Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Education & Skills, said: “We have now officially signed contracts and we have appointed the contractor ISG, who are very well-regarded and have a successful track record of building schools, including special schools.
“I am very pleased to also announce that we now expect to finish the project around five months earlier than originally anticipated. Subject to planning permission, we are on target to complete the new college building in early December 2022, allowing Woodlands Meed pupils to start using it from the January 2023 term. All additional playing areas and external work is also due to be finished early, by June 2023, and all within budget.
“This is a real milestone and we look forward to working with the school and all parties to deliver this important project.”
A planning application was submitted in November last year following a virtual consultation with Woodlands Meed governors, head teacher, parents and carers and staff, with widespread support for the plans. A planning decision is expected at the end of March.
The contractor will now work closely with the appointed architects Haverstock on the technical design stage of the project.
A feasibility study was carried out to look at a potential alternative site for the project. It has now been completed and the report shows the site will not provide all of the benefits initially envisaged and could delay the project by two years, so the focus will be on rebuilding the college on its current site as originally planned.