School gets set for new AKS era

King Edward and Queen Mary School, St Annes
King Edward and Queen Mary School, St Annes
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A BUSY programme of work is underway this summer as a landmark school prepares for a new era.

Arnold King Edward School – formed from the controversial coming together of King Edward and Queen Mary School and Blackpool’s Arnold – will come into force as a merged entity in September.

Around then, work is set to begin in earnest on the recently-approved £6.4m extension plans for the site in Clifton Drive South, St Annes, where the school will be housed from September 2013.

In the intervening school year, AKS, part of the Unite Church Schools Trust, will continue to operate from its two current separate sites and a refurbishment programme costing around £800,000 is now underway.

Along with the bringing together of the St Annes and Blackpool computer networks, the summer works include what are described as three ‘ICT-rich’ classrooms being converted from changing rooms which will be replaced by facilities in the Pavilion.

A new library will replace the current fitness suite, which in turn will be moved temporarily into what was the former food technology room.

Planning permission for the extension plans which include a new junior school, multi-use games area and sports hall were agreed in principle by Fylde councillors last month.

A spokesman for UCST said: “We are very pleased to have received planning approval in principle and thank all of those who we consulted and who gave us positive feedback on our plans.

“Our aim is to create a campus that the whole community can be proud of.

“In doing so, we place a high priority on not only developing buildings that fit into their local landscape and environment but also in showing consideration to our neighbours during the construction period.”