PLANS have been unveiled for a new ten classroom block and sports hall as part of a £9.5 million investment.

Essex County Council has submitted blueprints for the new block at Clacton County High School which will include space for 300 students and a new four court sports hall on existing playing fields at the Walton Road site.

The school currently caters for 1,650 students but wants to expand to provide for the growing number of pupils in the town.

The existing sixth form is being relocated to the former Bishop’s Park College site in Jaywick Lane, Clacton, which is also used by Market Field School.

Tendring Council’s cabinet has already agreed to transfer land from the neighbouring Vista Road recreation ground in order to increase the playing field space at the school.

County Hall said it is committed to sustainability and the new 1,630 sq metre building will be net zero carbon.

A spokesman said: “The new classrooms and sports hall is part of a £9.5 million county council investment into Clacton County High School, Tendring Education Centre and the Clacton Leisure Centre which seeks to improve and increase educational and recreation facilities in the district.

“Essex County Council is working closely with Tendring Council on this project to ensure great outcomes for residents.”

“Designers Pick Everard have collaborated with Essex County Council to design a new dedicated sports hall and classroom building.

“This exciting project has targeted sustainability at the very heart of the design and the evidence that well-designed classrooms boost student’s academic performance.

“The school energy design strategy captures Essex County Councils aspiration for the future to deliver Net Zero Carbon buildings.”

The new building, which should be ready for use in September, will be located to the north west of the school to create a new gateway access to the site from Clacton Leisure Centre and connecting to the existing changing pavilion.

County Hall said the low carbon design includes solar panels, highly efficient air source heat pumps and LED lighting.

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Neil Gallagher, executive headteacher, previously said the move is needed as demand for places at the school has outstripped capacity for several years.

“This is a truly exciting development for the school and the town,” he added.

“Being able to extend our provision, particularly at post-16, will make a huge difference to the opportunities for our young people locally.”

The former Bishops Park College, which cost £25million to build, opened in 2002, but the failing school was amalgamated into Clacton Coastal Academy in 2009.

Market Field Special School is also currently operating on the Jaywick Lane site and will continue alongside County High’s sixth form centre.

Tendring Council, which has been working with Essex County Council on the project, made no objection to the plans for the block, although a final decision will be made by the county council.

It is hoped that the new block will be welcoming pupils in September 2021.