Bold bid to revamp old Bishop Wulstan site

By Dan Santy 24/05 Updated: 24/05 10:45

Rugby School head teacher Patrick Derham has announced plans to take over the old Bishop Wulstan School site. 37.07.110.jm2

THE OLD Bishop Wulstan School site will be taken over by Rugby School and turned into a new sixth form centre and sports hall, it has been revealed.

Rugby's famous public school recently announced well advanced plans to buy the derelict site and turn it into an extra 3,000 sq m of teaching space, along with a careers centre, library and study area.

It will also see the reopening of Bishop Wulstan's £1 million sports centre, which opened in 2003 only for the faith school to shut down just four years later due to a drop in the number of pupils and falling exam results.

Since then the modern sports hall has stood doing nothing for the past five years - despite its potential.

The site, owned by the Diocese Schools Commission, includes the sports hall and a three-storey building which will become Rugby School's new sixth form centre.

It will also provide accommodation for the economics, business studies, politics and philosophy departments, along with a social centre for sixth formers to use.

Once the renovations are complete the sports hall will be opened up for the public to use, while other schools in Rugby will be invited to make use of the new teaching areas at specially arranged sessions.

Rugby School head teacher, Patrick Derham, said: "Rugby School has a fine tradition of making its facilities available to the community, with many primary and secondary schools, as well as clubs and societies, enjoying our existing facilities.

"I am delighted to say this provision can now be extended."

Work to renovate the site will begin soon, and it is expected the sports hall renovations will be finished by September next year.

Rugby School spokesman Jonathan Smith said: "It's a shame Bishop Wulstan has stood doing nothing for so long as it's a wonderful site.

"It will not only be an asset to the school, but to the whole community in Rugby."

In 2009 the Oak Street site was the subject of a controversial planning application by a developer looking to build 76 new houses there.

It sparked opposition from people living near to Bishop Wulstan who feared more houses on the busy road would cause traffic chaos.

But in the end the application did not proceed and the site has not been touched since Bishop Wulstan closed in 2007.

Contracts will be exchanged between Rugby School and the Diocese Schools Commission in the near future to finalise the deal, the costs of which have not been disclosed.

Bishop Wulstan School closed in 2007 and has been left untouched since. 33.08.115.jm1

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