Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Banister School Rebuild Given the Green Light

Freemantle Councillor, Michael Ball in Archers Road, outside Banister School

I am delighted to report that the City Council will be investing in a complete rebuild for Banister School. Conservative Councillors have been pushing for this for some time.  

A number of schools in the city are expanding to meet the growing demand for primary places. The greatest demand is in the central part of the city and in Freemantle Ward. All of the Junior and Infant schools in the ward are going to become 'all though' primary schools and this includes Banister School from September 2013.The current Banister buildings are very old and in need of replacement and now with the need to grow the school, a complete rebuild is the only sensible option to pursue.

At the end of last year the City Council was successful in winning additional capital money from the government to help deal us fund our ambitious local primary school expansion programme. The council was awarded £3.1M. As a result I am pleased to report that we are now in a position to commit to the Banister School rebuild.

We will be able to produce a fantastic, state of the art new building, which will not only be excellent quality but superb value for money. The new build will be completed for September 2013 and so this will be the fastest school build that the city council has ever done.


Anonymous said...

It is disappointing that you have chosen to build this school so close to existing buildings and have not chosen to build the school on it's current footprint on the basis of saving a few pounds without thinking about the environment and saving the important heritage of biodiversity.

I do notice that you have chosen to eliminate the environment, trees and the protection of them in the urban environment from your manifesto.

It's a shame you have chosen to live in this city but see no benefit for Southampton of being green and supporting the city environmentally, or actually thinking long term about the needs of a Community, with the addition of further places at this school I hope to see some traffic calming or road safety measures also included, see at this your main concern is the city centre and I notice that Freemantle no longer interests you in this respect as we seem to have been moved to the outskirts and removed from any documentary plans.

Jeremy Moulton said...

Dear Anonymous. Thank you for your post.

The school sadly cannot be built on the existing footprint as the existing school needs to remain open during the construction of the new building. The school does need to expand along with many others locally to meet the growing numbers of children. Initially faced with the prospect of bolting on extra classrooms to the existing old building, I have worked very hard to secure a brand new school within broadly the same financial envelope, which I think is tremendous and in the long term much better value for money both for the school and local taxpayers.

I am certainly keen to protect the trees. No planning application has been submitted yet and this is being looked at and if possible we will course protect trees.

Being green and sustainable is very important indeed. As well as providing a much more environmentally friendly building for Banister we have been installing Solar PV on a number of local schools to cut energy use and costs.

I am not sure what your last paragraph is getting at. I haven't chosen to live in the city. I am from Southampton and grew up just road the corner from Banister School.

Not sure I follow your point about the city centre. I am a governor of Freemantle School, another local school that is expanding and which has received substantial investment in both new buildings and environmentally friendly upgrades.

Always happy to receive further feedback by email if you are uncomfortable posting your name on a public forum.

Best wishes, Jeremy