WORK is finally set to start later this year on the rebuilding of Elton High School — 60 years after it originally opened its gates.
The new school, which it is believed will cost more than £30 million to complete, is to be constructed on the existing site in Walshaw Road.
Hopes are high that pupils and staff will move into the building during 2016.
The school was deemed in need of urgent repair after the cost was estimated to be more than 70 per cent of a complete rebuild.
Elton High was subsequently included in a £2.4 billion programme to rebuild 261 of the schools in England in the worst condition, and is currently working with the Education Funding Agency (EFA).
The school opened in 1954 and is viewed to have many “design faults”, such as flat roofs, single-glazed windows, a shortage of electricity supply points and poor energy savings. There are also issues with corrosion and leaks in parts of the building.
Headteacher Adrian Calvert said: “We have been working closely and positively with the EFA who are leading the project on behalf of the government at this stage and we will shortly start to work with the contractor Interserve on the details of the project.
“We do not have confirmed dates at this stage but we are hoping that we will move into the new building during 2016.
"The final design of the new school and its location within the existing site will not be known until we have completed the design meetings with Interserve.
“The funding provided by EFA will enable the school to replace all its buildings with a new build school.
"The work is funded through the DfE (Department for Education) as a capital project and so has no PFI (private finance initiative) involvement.”
Mr Calvert added: “As headteacher, I am delighted that Elton High School is to get a complete new building on the current site.
"It is extremely positive news and something that our dedicated and hardworking students really deserve.
“Our current buildings, although extremely well cared for, are past their best and there is no doubt that the rebuild is necessary.
"Although I only became headteacher in September, 2013, I can see the amount of time and effort that is spent by the staff in ensuring that excellent learning takes place despite the issues our current buildings present.”
A Bury Council spokesman said: “We are due to meet the contractors at the end of May for the first of a series of design meetings when the current outline plan for the new build will be worked up into a detailed design.
"Following that, a planning application will be submitted. If all goes to plan, it is possible that construction work on the school could begin in the autumn this year.”
The school currently caters for 1,007 pupils and is a specialist arts college and college of mathematics and computing.