BUILDING work at Chester’s Hammond School is progressing well and it is hoped the new development will be handed over this spring.
Detailed plans were approved earlier this year.
The school, on Mannings Lane in Hoole Village, had outline planning permission in 2003 for the removal of temporary classrooms and the headmistress’s house, new classrooms, a hall and boarding houses.
Chester’s planning board heard the school, set in Chester’s Green Belt, contributes to the national programme for dance and is the only one of its kind in the North of England.
It provides full time education for 250 pupils aged 11-18.
Changes had been made to the plans following consultation with local residents and planning officers said the development would not harm the openness of the Green Belt and would provide the school with permanent accommodation.
A performing arts centre will include a flexible performance space/double studio with retractable tiered seating for 300, further studios, a drama and outreach studio, a foyer and dining area.
It will also be available to the community.
Head of school, Polly Dangerfield, commented: “We look forward to showing our neighbours and friends the wonderful new facilities.”
The school says that 2007/2008 is an exciting year as the school is celebrating its 90th anniversary.
On Friday, May 23, pupils and students will celebrate with a 1917-themed day.
Dance, drama, music workshops and performances will take place, all linked to the period and the history of the school.
“We would hope to share this day with our neighbours,” added Mrs Dangerfield.