Slade Green: £8m project to create new classrooms to meet surge in pupils
PUBLISHED: 10:19 13 October 2011
»Bexley Council is proposing to spend more than £8million creating extra primary school places and a new community centre in Slade Green, in a bid to cope with a population surge.
The Times revealed in June that more than 2,500 primary school pupils are projected to need places over the next eight or 10 years in the Bexley borough.
Now council bosses are proposing building a new community facility and expanding the existing Slade Green Infant and Junior Schools in Slade Green Road in a bid to create a new primary school from the existing schools.
Projections for capacity have not been made yet but proposals include the addition of five classrooms at the infant school and the refurbishment and extension of the existing junior school by three new classrooms to enable a two-form-entry primary school.
Councillors are due to decide on the plans at a public cabinet meeting next Tuesday.
Cabinet member for education, Cllr John Fuller, said: “We know more school places are going to be needed in the area in the years ahead, so it’s right that we start making the decisions that will create those places now.”
Also under discussion are plans to provide a community centre on the site which is home to the Slade Green Library and which was home to the former pupil referral unit known as the Howbury Centre in Slade Green Road, Erith.
Pupils from the centre moved to a new £4.2million building in Lensbury Way, Abbey Wood, in June, resulting in the primary unit increasing its capacity to 24 children, from 18.
Plans for the community facility in Slade Green Road include a new library, catering facilities, changing rooms, flexible office and community space, games area, car parking and landscaping.
Construction of the new community facilities and extension of the schools are timetabled for 2012 to 2015.
Cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, Cllr Linda Bailey said: “This represents a considerable investment in Slade Green – not only in the community facilities, but also in developing schools in the area. It’s a lot of money to spend and if it’s given the go-ahead, we will want to work with the community going forward to ensure the finished community facility will be one that will be used and enjoyed by all.”