The £4 million extension of Glossopdale School has taken a step closer following the appointment of a contractor.
Henry Brothers, who constructed the £23 million main school complex which opened in 2018, will be responsible for completing the expansion of the Hadfield-based secondary school and sixth form.
The expansion was agreed last May and work on a separate two-storey classroom block is finally expected to get under way in April.
A further 240 places are set to be provided – for 200 pupils aged 11 to 16 and 40 sixth form students.
It will also create additional social spaces and be built to match the school’s main complex.
It’s expected that the new block - to the south west of the main school complex towards Mouselow Close - will be completed early next year.
Head teacher Debbie McGloin said: “We are really pleased to see this extension move forward and are excited to be able to offer more places for the children in our community.”
The new extension came after a flurry of complaints from parents that the 1,200 capacity school did not have enough pupil spaces. They had feared friendship groups would be divided if the school could not cater for all of the pupils in the catchment area.
With the project funded by Derbyshire County Council, the building design has been developed by DLA Architecture – jointly with the county council and the school.
The Henry Brothers Midlands team on the project includes DLA Architecture, civil and structural engineer Curtins, and Couch Perry Wilkes for M&E services.
As well as building the main complex at Glossopdale School, Henry Brothers have also undertaken external work on the site. Some external works to the main building were still ongoing last year, with some delays caused by the pandemic.
Glossopdale School in Hadfield
High Peak MP Robert Largan says he lobbied the county council to extend the school since the need for expansion was first raised with him by residents in 2019.
He said: “I am very pleased that contractors have been appointed to build the extension at Glossopdale School.
“I want to thank all those who have worked to deliver this project, and Councillors Jean and George Wharmby, who have been hugely supportive of the campaign.
“I hope Glossopdale School will go from strength to strength following the expansion.”
Etherow county councillor Becki Woods said: “I’m delighted to see that the expansion at Glossopdale School - for which I spent many hours lobbying Children's Services at Derbyshire County Council - is finally looking like it’s going to get under way with the appointment of contractors. I also think it would only be fair to mention the huge effort Ruth George, working alongside me, put in as the MP into making this happen.
"Going back to the original plans which had the added capacity included, which the then Labour-controlled Derbyshire County Council implemented in the first place, the expansion can only be a good thing for the whole community, and the children of the area who will get an improved and larger building in what is already a state-of-the-art facility.”
Henry Brothers has wide experience of delivering school facilities in the East Midlands, including in Derbyshire.
Managing director Ian Taylor said: “We are excited to have been appointed to build this additional block at Glossopdale School—the latest in a number of projects that we have delivered for schools in Derbyshire, and following on from our successful partnership to build the main school complex at this site.
“The new development will nestle into an existing bank on the south side of the school and will be accessed via a covered walkway into the top floor, with an outdoor stairway down to playgrounds and fields below.
“Henry Brothers Midlands is looking forward to starting work on site to provide additional facilities and space for this popular school.”
An artist impression of what part of the school extension will look like (from DLA Architecture).