Plans submitted for new school

Story by Amy Palmer Images courtesy of Kier construction

After receiving news that Fir Vale school had to refuse 73 pupils places for the next academic year it seems timely that planning documents have now been submitted for the new school.
The Messenger met with Gary Reay and Donna Howard from Kier, who have been contracted for
the construction work, and Andy Redfern from Reach4 Academies to find out more.
The new ‘through school’ will be for children aged two to eighteen and is being called the ‘Woodside’

What the school itself will be called is still to be decided. Currently a competition to name
the school is being run at Byron Wood Primary School, which is also  Reach4 school and whose Year 5s
will be the first Year 7s to enter as secondary school pupils. Pye Bank primary will also be in the school’s
catchment area. Many people have expressed concern about the conservation of the original Grade II listed Pye Bank school currently on the site. Kier reassured me that this will be restored, including some original features such as the wood panelling inside the classrooms and upgraded  to modern standards sensitively as the old building is transformed into accommodation for the primary school age group up to Year 4. Year’s 5 and upward through to Sixth Form will be housed in a dramatic new build on the site of the former Woodside village.

The new building  will be three stories high and seen from across the city. Project manager Gary Reay
explained that the flat roof will be covered in solar panels, which will provide a large percentage of the
building’s energy needs. Not only will the new school be environmentally friendly but Kier
construction also has a commitment to the local area, including offering help to local good causes that can make use of their spare materials and their construction skills.
Work is due to start onsite from May this year and the building of the steel frame will start in September.
To view the plans for yourself please visit
and enter codes 17/00868/RG3 and 17/00869/LBC

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