Bats block new building scheme

School bosses are going batty after a £1.4m development project has been put on hold.

Thursday, 4th May 2017, 10:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:41 pm
Priory Academy headteacher Matt Eastham has put ahold on plans tor epalce the old ROSLA building until bats have flown the roost

Penwortham Priory Academy has been given the green light to replace its old 
ROSLA building with an IT suite .

But work on the project can’t start until September as bats have set up home on the Crow Hills Road site.

The mammals, a protected species, live close to the building and rather than risk disturbing them, the school has decided to wait until they have flown the roost.

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Penwortham Priory Academy headteacher Matt Eastham on site

The school has received funding through the Education Funding Agency.

Around £700,000 will be spent on the second phase of roof works and £1.4m will be spent on knocking down the old ‘ROSLA’ block and building a new IT suite along with a space downstairs for use by the school and community.

Priory’s facilities manager Keith Bolton said the building hadn’t been used since 2015.

He added: “This is a new project but we can’t start it until September as the bats have a maternity roost on the edge of the swimming pool building, adjacent to the ROSLA building.

Penwortham Priory Academy headteacher Matt Eastham on site

“And because it’s so close we don’t want to make a lot of noise and scare the bats off so they leave their offspring.

“We have put bat boxes up around the area to make sure it is a safe habitat for them.” The new building will be energy efficient with a heat recovery system, air conditioning and plans for solar panels.

Headteacher Matt Eastham said: “Priory has been transformed in recent years with our new technology block, our state-of-the-art science laboratories along with our creative and performing arts centre and new humanities building and this is another step forward.

“The new IT facility will upgrade our current facilities and means we have more space in the maths department to upgrade that.”