THE main building of a secondary school is set to be demolished and replaced by modern premises in a £10million development.

The main block at Kingsmead Academy, Wiveliscombe, originally built in 1953, will be knocked down to make way for a teaching and administration building.

There will also be an activity studio with associated changing rooms to connect to the existing sports hall at the school, off Hartswell.

A planning application submitted to Somerset West and Taunton Council also outlines proposals for a multi-use games area and landscaping.

Once permission is granted, work will start on detailed designs.

Construction was scheduled to start in August, with the handover of the new building in November next year.

The demolition of existing "no longer fit for purpose" 67-year-old buildings would then have been completed by September 2022.

Students would continue to attend school, using temporary classrooms during the works.

A report with the planning application says: "The new school building will provide partial replacement of the existing school, with the main school block being demolished following handover of the new building and the old building footprint being converted to a large grassed area.

"The application also includes a new activity studio and associated changing facilities which will be an extension of the existing sports hall.

"The site itself is challenging with restricted access and restricted space and the school will remain in operation throughout the build


The report adds that all buildings at Kingsmead are showing "the tell-tale signs of wear and tear associated with its function as a school", with evidence of "corrosion due to water ingress".

Problems currently include issues with the concrete frame of the main building, structural movement and minor structural defects.

The proposed development will include two rectangular blocks, a three-storey teaching wing and a partial three-storey learning resource and community wing, as well as a one-storey main hall.

The existing technology and art classrooms will be demolished and relocated.

Funding is being put up by the Department of Education through a Priority Schools Building Programme grant for schools in the worst condition.

Funding was originally awarded five years ago, but the project was delayed over Brexit. Since then the school roll has climbed from 750 students to more than 900.