School is building for bright future

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PLANS have been submitted to Lancaster City Council for a significant new development by the governors of Ripley St Thomas CE Academy.

The academy plans to create a clearer link between its historic main school buildings and its modern sixth form centre through a single storey development encompassing a Professional Learning Centre, a Learning Resources Centre and a mini lecture theatre.

The project, designed by JMP Architects of Lancaster, integrates the original lodge, a small cottage by the school gate, into the new build.

Ripley has grown in size in recent years and this expansion will provide much needed additional facilities for young people.

Chair of governors Prof John Crewdson said: “Blending our historic tradition with 21st century learning is a central theme at Ripley.

“We believe that combining our wonderful heritage with innovative facilities in this development will make for outstanding educational provision.”

The planned buildings overlook the academy’s paddock and farm, the sixth form centre and the Grade 2* listed chapel.

The project allows for an enclosed garden providing a quiet reflective space for students and staff.

“Caring for the environment has always been a key priority for the school,” said principal Liz Nicholls.

“We believe that young people and staff benefit enormously from green and peaceful surroundings.

“We take every opportunity to plant new shrubs and trees in addition to the thousands of bulbs planted annually.

“So, as part of this project we plan to include 10 new mature trees along the Ashton Road side of the building as well as creating an additional quiet garden area.”

Governors hope that the project will be completed by 2014, when Ripley will be celebrating its 150th anniversary.