Major upgrade works to Millais will ‘unify’ school’s site

Millais pupils pictured in March 2013 when the �14m funding was announced for refurbishing school buildings.
Millais pupils pictured in March 2013 when the �14m funding was announced for refurbishing school buildings.

Major upgrade works to Horsham’s Millais School will ‘unify the site as part of a campus vision’ according to proposals put forward.

In March West Sussex County Council announced £14m funding for the Depot Road school from its School Capital Building Programme to replace teaching buildings that are nearly 60 years old.

An application for the site was submitted to Horsham District Council in July for a new three-storey building fronting on to Depot Road, which would provide general classrooms for music, art and design technology facilities.

Plans also include an extension to the existing sports hall to create an energy centre, and removal of some mobile classrooms from the site.

The design and access statement reads: “These proposals are necessary in order to provide a fully functioning school for 1,500 pupils with appropriate accommodation to ensure that the school’s curriculum can be delivered efficiently.

“A detailed assessment of the existing school concluded that the existing physical learning environment for Millais School has reached a stage where a significant proportion of its accommodation is no longer appropriate for teaching and learning on the grounds of its condition, sufficiency, and suitability.

“In particular the three-storey 1952 Block E is now beyond economic repair.”

It added: “The proposals seek to enhance the school site and provide additional accommodation that will unify the site as part of a campus vision.”

In March headteacher Leon Nettley said: “Everyone is delighted with the news that the county council’s capital building programme includes £14m for a major improvement project at the school.”

He added: “This project will enable us to redevelop the school to ensure we are providing a 21st century learning environment for all our pupils and staff in line with our role as a National Teaching School.

“It will also help us to retain our position in the top 100 non-selective state schools.

“After many years of pleading our case, to receive such an investment when resources are scarce, is a real boost for the school and all involved.”

The school held a public consultation event in May, with some residents raising concerns over construction work on Saturdays, queries on landscaping, and parking problems in Depot Road and other streets near the school.