Work finally underway at Leyland school following devastating blaze

New start: Work is underway to rebuild Leyland St Mary's High School after the fire
New start: Work is underway to rebuild Leyland St Mary's High School after the fire
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  • Leyland school destroyed during arson attack in 2013
  • Work to develop new school building now underway following clean-up operation
  • Development expected to be completed by the end of August
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Work to rebuild a Lancashire high school destroyed during an arson attack has finally started.

Following a mammoth clear-up operation from the blaze at Leyland St Mary’s in September 2013, work to develop the new school buildings is now underway.

Although the school was damaged under terrible circumstances, we have been provided with an opportunity to re-design facilities in order to make best use of space.

Project architect Lawrence McBurney

Bosses have described it as “the newest school build in South Ribble which will be a shining beacon for the town of Leyland.”

Pupils have been working from the surviving buildings and porta-cabin style classrooms since the fire, which destroyed two thirds of the school and needed 125 firefighters on site at its height.

Chris Meldrum, deputy headteacher and project manager, said: “The development of the new build is going really well. The size and development of the new buildings look amazing.

“Seeing the open spaces that the pupils will have in September makes you realise how tolerant they are being at the moment with the limited movement around the site.

“Everybody involved with the project have always discussed it with the staff and pupils in mind and are excited to share their work in the near future.”

Leyland St Mary’s is set to get new science and technology departments, extended dining areas, car parks and outdoor spaces under the redevelopment scheme.

Project architect Lawrence McBurney, from architectural and planning consultancy practice, Cassidy + Ashton, said: “Our plans have been designed to create a modern and inspiring school which will meet the needs of both current and future students, whilst also providing exceptional facilities for use by local communities.

“Although the school was damaged under terrible circumstances, we have been provided with an opportunity to re-design facilities in order to make best use of space.”

Two courtyard areas at the heart of the development are also being created, to provide social and teaching outdoor spaces.

There will also be a new activity and dance studio built, and changing rooms.

Work is expected to be complete by the end of August, before the students return in September after the summer holidays.