MANOR HIGH REPLACEMENT: New Wednesbury school to rise from the ashes
Plans for a new school in Wednesbury have been unveiled by developers in readiness for planning approval by Sandwell council.
The Elm Tree Primary Academy for children with special education needs is to be built on the site of the former Phoenix Collegiate School on Friar Park Road.
Cllr Simon Hackett welcomed the plans saying it will allow pupils to easily move into a secondary school already nearing completion on the same site.
He said: “I have been told by parents we need a seamless progression for children with special education needs into a high school also designed to provide the support they need.
“We haven’t had this type of provision in this part of Sandwell before and it will be welcomed by pupils and mums and dads.
“I’ve campaigned for sometime to bring this site back into use and I’m really pleased this is now moving forward.”
The new building will be run by Victoria Academies Trust for pupils aged 5 to 11 years with a diagnosis of autism and moderate learning difficulties.
The proposed one storey teaching block will be able to accommodate up to 126 children.
Announcing the development, planning constants DPP said: “The primary school will complement High Point Academy, the new secondary special school, which is currently under construction on the southern part of the former Phoenix Collegiate site.
“The design team have worked closely with the trust to ensure that the building and wider campus is functional and suitable for the needs of its pupils. The school building itself will house teaching spaces, dining areas and a main hall as well as specialist spaces such as sensory rooms and therapy rooms to cater to the individualised curriculum and needs of each child.”
Based in Sandwell, Victoria Academies Trust runs nine schools in the West Midlands including the Victoria Park Primary and Devonshire Junior and Infant academies in Smethwick.
Elm Tree will replace Manor High School which was operated by Phoenix Collegiate until its closure in 2015.
In March 2019 a blaze fought by ten fire crews and 60 firefighters completely gutted the three-storey structure causing it to collapse.
Plans for the new school are expected to be submitted to the council in the near future.
Words: George Makin, Local Democracy Reporter
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