King's High in Â£30 million move out of Warwick town centre
One of the region's best-known girls schools announced today it is planning to relocate to a new site as part of Â£30 million plans.
King’s High School for Girls plans to move from its current Warwick town centre site to the campus on Myton Road where Warwick School and Warwick Preparatory School are already based.
The Warwick Independent Schools Foundation has drawn up plans for the move, which will take three years to complete, that will see the creation of a new main school building, a new shared music building, a new sixth form centre and improvements and extension to the Bridge Sports Centre. New and improved sports pitches – including 4G and all weather surfaces – will also be built at the site. The Foundation has stressed that the move is not a merger and King’s High will continue to operate independently, though it will share some facilities with Warwick School.
The Foundation has spent several years investigating ways of developing King’s High School away from the town centre site it has occupied since it began in 1879. If the plans are approved, the current King’s High School site in Warwick town centre would be developed by the Foundation.
Richard Nicholson, head master of King’s High School, said: “King’s High is a highly respected and very successful school with an excellent track record. Its facilities are first class, but there are limitations to future development purely because of the nature of the site.
“We are constantly looking at ways of improving our offer to pupils in all areas, and a major part of that has been how we develop King’s High School for the next generation.
“We have explored several options but believe creating a new school on our Myton Road campus would bring considerable benefits.
“It would allow us to create new school facilities, some of which will be shared throughout our school community, it will mean increased collaboration between the schools and will allow us to develop a masterplan for the whole site to ensure we have the best traffic and safety systems in place.
“The project gives us the opportunity to offer one-stop educational facilities for our pupils from 3-18, and will continue to honour our determination to provide state-of-the-art, efficient buildings which are fit for now and for the future
“It also allows us to improve the quality of the campus for all our pupils, staff and the wider community we serve.
“Cars will be taken from the centre of the school to new parking on the perimeter of the site which will allow us to create a series of linked green spaces and courtyards, and radically improve the school environment.”
Work on the project would take place in two phases. The first would see the creation of the new King’s High School building with dedicated school hall and dining room as well as the new shared sixth form centre with Warwick School for social, careers and some study activities. That would take two years, with completion scheduled for September 2019.
Work would then start on the improvements and extension to the sport centre – which would include new design and technical spaces – and the new music centre which would be used by King’s High and Warwick Preparatory School.
Simon Jones, the Foundation Secretary, said: “By taking a 600-pupil school out of the historic centre of Warwick it should also help to ease traffic congestion and could eventually allow for some much-needed new housing.
“We believe this is a very good move for all three schools but that it is also good for the town of Warwick. We consulted with Warwick District Council throughout the process of drawing up our plans.
“This is the largest single change to the schools within the Foundation for decades. We believe the time is right – for many reasons – to create a single campus with the very best facilities.
“It will create new opportunities through the sharing of facilities, bring equality between the schools and improve efficiencies by allowing the schools to be self-contained.”
The project is being managed by Arup, while Nicholas Hare Architects have undertaken the masterplanning and design work.