Primary school plan for uni building
APRIMARY school looks set to take over a former university building as part of a major expansion.
Bosses at Beaver Road School in Didsbury hope to get the green light to build a new school at the former Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) halls of residence in the suburb.
Council bosses are due to meet with Beaver Road Academy Trust in July to announce a decision over the site.
If agreed, the empty building will be knocked down and replaced with a new state-of-the-art primary school due to open in September 2017.
Beaver Road headteacher David How said the current school was in urgent need of expansion after hundreds of children missed out on a place there earlier this month.
He is ‘very hopeful’ Manchester City Council will grant permission for the development.
He said: “We find out in July. This school is vastly oversubscribed. This year we had 350 applications for 90 places so there’s a demand. We can’t expand on this school site, it’s too tight.
“This school will be expanded by two forms of entry, so there will be 60 more places per year group created on the Broomfield site. The intention is that Beaver Road will move from three forms of entry to five forms of entry so there will be 150 children in each year group. It will be run as a separate organisation with a head of school over there.”
The 85-year-old primary currently has 700 pupils and has recently under- gone renovation work. If permission is granted, planning work for Beaver Road’s second site could begin as early as September with enrolment starting in September 2016.
Nine teachers and staff would teach reception and nursery classes initially with the school growing year on year until it can accommodate 420 more children.
The PJ Livesey Group recently submitted plans to build 19 apartments and 12 houses on the former MMU campus on Wilmslow Road.
Mr How said both developments would meet the needs of Didsbury’s young families. He said: “Didsbury has become a very young community with so many more young families moving in. There is definitely a need. The MMU site is due to have 100 homes built there, too, which is bound to attract more families. It’s like a regeneration of the community. It’s an exciting time but a big challenge.”