Gordano School plans new expansion to accommodate more pupils

Gordano School at Portishead.

Gordano School at Portishead. - Credit: Archant

Sixth form pupils in Portishead will be able to enjoy a new canteen, library and classroom block, if plans made public this week are accepted by North Somerset Council.

Gordano School is seeking planning permission to develop its ‘inadequate’ facilities to ensure it can continue to adequately cater for the town’s growing population.

The demand for school places is rising and is anticipated to continue in the years to come. An increase in pupils unsurprisingly means an overhaul of classrooms is required.

In its design and access statement, submitted as part of the planning process, the school says: “Capacity will be increased from 1,919 to 2,222 pupils and this demographic expansion requires an increase in classrooms, the re-provision of the main school library and the addition of a new dining facility and kitchen to address the poor condition of, and the overcrowding within, the existing facility.

“The replacement of inadequate, life-expired buildings is an essential part of overall school strategy and is in keeping with the continued ambition of the Gordano to serve the local community with an outstanding school.”

A survey of the school’s buildings has shown the overwhelming majority are in a satisfactory state.

Gordano plans to demolish one part of its site to make room to build a two-storey dining area and classroom facility, which will also house a new ground-floor library.

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The school says it has discussed its plans with North Somerset Council and its members ahead of the planning application and states it has received ‘general support’.

It adds: “This scheme will transform the dining facilities at Gordano and will address both the severe problem with the condition of the existing building and the need for additional space due to the increase in pupil numbers.

“The replacement of an inadequate, time-expired building is an essential part of the overall school strategy and is in keeping with the continued ambition of Gordano School to serve the local community.

“This development will be an important asset to the school, providing a new building which adds to the existing high quality learning environment.”

Headteacher Gary Lewis said: “The new facilities are part of a development funded by North Somerset’s Basic Need Fund.

“This is to allow Gordano School to increase its intake number to 336 pupils per year to accommodate the rising population from Portishead and Portbury.”

Head of sixth form, Jeanne Fairs, said the extra library space will give sixth formers more room for independent study – something many students have been keen to have.