County plans new role for former Eastbourne school

The former Hampden Park Infants School
The former Hampden Park Infants School

THE FORMER infant school in Hampden Park looks set to become a college for youngsters who are unable to attend mainstream schools.

East Sussex County Council’s proposed College Central West would provide education for up to 40 children at the old Hampden Park Infant School site in Brodrick Road.

The pupils attending the college may have been excluded or could have recently moved to the county without a school place.

The county council describes it as a ‘flexible’ form of education and says there could be a variety of reasons why children may not be able to attend mainstream schools.The facility will be used by children aged between 11 and 16.

A council spokesperson said, “College Central provides full time education for students who have been permanently excluded or who have barriers to accessing mainsteam education, or who for some reason don’t have a place at a mainstream school.

“This site will take pupils who are currently accommodated at Mountfield Road in Lewes and Park Lane in Eastbourne.”

The proposals are subject to the planning process but if approved the county council will take down the prefabricated building currently at the Brodrick Road site to reveal an older building behind.

The spokesperson added, “None of the site is being sold off and we want to ensure it is brought back into educational use as soon as possible.

“The buildings will be refurbished and redeveloped to provide improved and more suitable facilities for those young people accessing College Central, assisting their integration back into mainstream education.”

The council is holding a meeting for residents at the school today (January 6). Locals will be able to find out more about what is proposed for the building between 10am and noon.

Plans for the refurbishment will be on display, including how the demolition of the concrete extension will change the front of the buildings.

Officers will be able to explain to residents the details of the alterations to the building and the way in which College Central will operate on the site.

Pam Rollison, who, jointly with her husband John, is a Neighbourhood Watch ward co-ordinator for Hampden Park west, said she would be attending the meeting with fellow Neighbourhood Watch members.

She said she hoped East Sussex County Council would work to improve the lighting and safety on the footbridge and alleyway adjacent to the school site if plans for the new college go ahead.

These plans come after Hampden Park Infant School merged with Highfield at the beginning of the last academic year (September 2011) and moved into the primary school’s site in The Hydneye to create the new Heron Park School.

The Hampden Park Infant School building, which had been occupied by schoolchildren for around 100 years, now stands empty and the council say the new college will provide a good use for the building.