THE CONTRACT for a multi-million pound project which will see a new school built in Seaford has been awarded to south coast construction company Warings.
The controversial plans for Bowden House School, which includes demolishing the existing building and replacing it with a new one complete with a sports hall and residential block, have upset many residents living near the site who felt the new design did not fit in with the surrounding area.
The proposals were turned down by Lewes District Council but the project will be going ahead after an appeal was allowed.
The school is managed by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and provides specialist, residential education for boys from Year Six to Year 11 with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
The existing school, which will remain open throughout the construction period, will be demolished once the new site is completed in August next year.
Gerry Crook, headteacher of Bowden House School, said, “All too often young people with special needs are not getting the opportunities they deserve, so to have a purpose built facility like this is fantastic.
“This will allow us to offer a varied subject base and will be a safe and friendly environment for them.”
Aman Dalvi, corporate director, development and renewal for Tower Hamlets Council, said, “This is the start of a really exciting new era for Bowden House School and its pupils.
“The new school, one of 18 schemes in development with the Local Education Partnership (LEP), will improve the educational outcomes of our young people and create excellent learning environments.”
It is the seventh contract win for Warings in the educational sector in the past two years.
The news has not been welcomed by everyone in the community, with concerns over losing the current school which residents deemed a ‘landmark’ in the town.
Paul Lambert, of Bowden Rise, said, “One is completely and utterly powerless to do anything.
“No one understands how this can happen.”
Elizabeth Weinberg, also of Bowden Rise, branded the project a “waste of money”, and her husband Alan added, “No attempt has been made by Tower Hamlets to cut cost by refurbishing the old school as has been done very successfully with a similar school building in Eastbourne.
“This would not only save money but also the carbon footprint required for a new build materials that is estimated to be equal to the energy required to run the school for 20 years.”