Monday, April 14, 2008

Demolition likely for fire hit school block

The sixth form block at Whickham School is likely to be demolished following the devastating fire on 21st March. Many children from Dunston and Lobley Hill are pupils at the school.
The fire, which is being treated as arson, destroyed the block that contained the library, two classrooms, a computer lab which contained 40 PCs and the staff room as well as the sixth form common room.

Fortunately the fire was contained and did not spread to neighbouring buildings.
"Staff and pupils are coping well, despite the terrible circumstances," said governor and Dunston Hill and Whickham East Councillor, Peter Maughan.

"The main hall is being used temporarily as common rooms for staff and sixth form. The council have indicated that demountable temporary class rooms could be provided.

"The school has always been successful and popular. As a result it is always full and is, indeed, bursting at the seams. Over the years accommodation problems have been tackled by building new blocks. The school itself however desperately needs replacing on the existing site with a single, new building.

"Under existing plans, the earliest this will happen is 2014/15. Perhaps now is the time for the government to rethink the timetable and bring forward the start date."

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