Powerstock School pupils set to return to classrooms next year

Powerstock School pupils set to return to classrooms next year

DEVASTATING: The blaze that swept through Powerstock School last September

REBUILDING: The inside of the main school building

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by

PUPILS at a west Dorset school face another year’s wait until they return to their fire ravaged classrooms.

The disastrous blaze swept through the main part of the Grade II listed building at Powerstock School, near Bridport, at half term last October.

Some classes were moved into the hut hall nearby, which despite having to share the building with the village has been working well, said head teacher Jean-Paul Draper.

He said the main school building now has a new roof and has been glazed and they are nearly ready to submit a planning application to put a new classroom into what was the roof space of the old building.

He added that the next phase – including improvements – will probably mean the pupils cannot get into the buildings until the start of term in 2013.

Mr Draper said: “Phase One is complete with the roof re-roofed, the building glazed and re-pointed inside and outside and we have secured the money for the alterations. The aim is to put a classroom in what was the roof space.

“Prior to the fire there was a horrible suspended ceiling so we have drawn up some plans for a classroom space.

“At the moment we are working through the planning application because it is Grade II listed.”

Pre-planning meetings have been held and Mr Draper said the application should be going in a matter of days. He added: “Everything is still running very smoothly with the hut but we would just like to be back in our building.

“We are looking to definitely get back in by September next year.

“Planning could take up to eight weeks. We have to go out to tender so it does all take a long time.

“We are waiting for something that is going to be fantastic but it is just frustrating to wait but it is going to be worth it.”

And when the new classroom is finally up and running it will pave the way to get rid of the ‘temporary’ mobile 70s classroom at the back of the school, he added.

“As you can imagine the villagers of Powerstock will be keen to see that moved as it has been here for many years. That is the intention anyway.”

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