Page last updated at 19:44 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Green light for new city schools

A total of 6,500 pupils in Newcastle are to benefit from four new eco-friendly school buildings.

The investment is part of the government Building Schools for the Future project.

St Mary's RC Comprehensive, Gosforth Junior High, Sir Charles Parsons Special School and Walker Technology College are to be redeveloped.

Improvements are also under way at Trinity Oakfield, Trinity Dene View, St Cuthbert's High and Gosforth High.

Walker Technology College is relocating to a £25m new building alongside Sir Charles Parsons Special School in the Waverdale area, and is set to open in October 2011.

We are already seeing improved exam results at the schools where work is complete, and a quote which sticks in my mind from one pupil is 'we all love coming to school now'
Councillor Nick Cott

The new look Gosforth Junior High - on the site of the existing school - will include a specialist visually-impaired student unit, kitchen garden and an environmental study garden.

The new £23m St Mary's will feature raised outdoor classrooms, kitchen gardens and habitat areas with wildflower meadows.

All buildings will incorporate crushed bricks from the demolished old school structures, as well as biomass boilers to provide renewable energy, full optimisation of daylight, recycling centres and cycling routes.

The work will be done in partnership between Newcastle City Council and Local Education Partnership Aura, who are delivering and partly funding the project.

Councillor Nick Cott, executive member for children and young people, said: "The first phase of the BSF programme has had a phenomenal effect on education in Newcastle. We are already seeing improved exam results at the schools where work is complete, and a quote which sticks in my mind from one pupil is 'we all love coming to school now'."

Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is the largest single schools capital investment programme in the UK for over 50 years.



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