More details of the plan to transform the town’s iconic Rugby Radio Station building into a secondary school to serve the Houlton housing development have been revealed.
The building was a hub of global communications in the 1920s, but it has deteriorated in recent years.
A planning application is about to be submitted, and Houlton developer Urban&Civic has joined with the Transforming Lives Educational Trust (TLET), which will run the new school, to reveal a model of the plans to help people get a feel for what the school will be like.
The Grade II-listed building looks set to undergo a huge transformation before opening under the name ‘Houlton School’.
The school is expected to eventually serve around 1,200 pupils, with the first year group starting in 2021.
Houlton School will then gradually fill up as subsequent year groups join at the start of each new academic year.
In its initial years, the school may accept pupils from the wider Rugby area.
But as more homes are built at Houlton, the catchment area is likely to be reduced to the Houlton development only.
TLET also runs Ashlawn School and the trust’s CEO James Higham said: “This is such an exciting moment for Houlton School.
“The model and the plans really help to bring our vision for this school to life. Not only will the facilities provide an inspirational place to learn, but we will also be building on the experience and expertise of the schools within the trust to develop a strong community and the highest educational standards.”
“The feedback we received from people seeing the plans for the first time was fantastic.”
In addition to the renovation of the main building, the plan looks likely to see the construction of two new blocks and a sports facility, with the water tower being used as an outdoor classroom.
TLET CEO Mr Higham told the Advertiser the school will draw on the building’s famous history, with some original features being retained.
Additionally, Mr Higham plans for the teaching of STEM subjects to draw on the history, but stressed that the humanities and the arts will also be given significant attention.
Richard Coppell, development director for Urban&Civic, said: “It is going to be a fantastic and iconic new school for Rugby as well as an important centrepiece in the creation of our new community at Houlton.”
The model and CGIs of the plans are now available to view at the Houlton Visitor Centre next to The Tuning Fork.