Seventeen new classrooms are to be built at a Canterbury grammar school as it benefits from a £6.1 million cash injection.
Simon Langton Boys will say farewell to long-standing leaky mobile classrooms and welcome a new state-of-the-art teaching block, as well as an extension to the current dining area.
The much-needed project comes as the school prepares to take on an extra 30 pupils each year from September 2022.
The extra cohort, which will see Year 7 places rise from 120 to 150, means the south Canterbury site needs additional space.
Head teacher Ken Moffat is pleased to have secured the funding for the development, which he says cannot come soon enough.
“Principally it is a much overdue replacement for nine mobile classrooms that are no longer fit for purpose and will struggle to last another winter,” he said.
“In addition, this gives us more classrooms to cope with a projected increase in the need for selective places in and around the city.
“This September sees our third year of five forms of entry and while we have been able to absorb additional numbers of students until now, going forward we will need more space.
“It will be a delight to have all of our students and staff finally housed in classrooms that are fit for purpose. We have had leaky mobile classrooms ever since I joined the school in the 1980s.”
Kent County Council gave the go-ahead to finance the expansion scheme last month, with the authority’s education committee unanimously approving the proposal.
Cllr Andrew Cook raised concerns over increased traffic and stressed “bussing more students around” would add to the city’s gridlock woes.
"It will be a delight to have all of our students and staff finally housed in classrooms that are fit for purpose..."
But the Langton project will be given £6.1 million and is to go ahead. The council says the heightened need for selective places is due to the “increase in the birth rate in Swale, inward migration and housebuilding across the Swale and Canterbury districts”.
Additional parking spaces will also be added at the Langton to cater for the increase in pupil numbers.
Meanwhile, about half-a-mile away in Spring Lane, construction is continuing at the new £20m Barton Manor School.
The structure and slabs at the former site of the Chaucer Technology School have all been completed, while the roof of the main building is also finished.
Year 7 pupils are scheduled to attend the new school in September this year.
As for Langton Girls’, the new-build at the Old Dover Road site will welcome pupils when they are allowed back following lockdown.