PROPOSALS for a £40m rebuild of academies in Neasden have been approved by the executive of Brent Council.
The project, which will transform the Crest Boys' Academy and the Crest Girls' Academy, begins in December this year after the plans were rubber stamped at a meeting on Monday night.
The academies will be totally rebuilt in a bid to create "modern new buildings with excellent facilities for students, staff and the whole community".
It is expected that the contract will be formally awarded to Wates Construction Ltd early in December with work beginning before Christmas, with some students being able to enjoy better facilities from as soon as Easter 2012 when they move into a new sixth form area.
Changes will include:
- Separate girls' and boys' academies with joint sixth form in "four pavilion buildings in an attractive park setting".
- Flexible classrooms suitable for different class sizes, with up-to-date ICT equipment.
- A large hall, theatre, library, two sports halls, drama and activity studios, all with potential for community use.
- Spaces for outside learning and sports in the grounds including pitches available for community use.
- Improved entrances at Crest Road and Dollis Hill.
- Places for an extra 300 students over five years.
A council spokesman said: "The original proposals have been amended in response to extensive consultation, including extra measures to improve privacy and reduce noise and disturbance for neighbours."
Crest Girls' Academy Principal Bev Bell said: "The rebuilt academies will be attractive and inspirational places to learn with exceptional resources and will help us achieve our aim of delivering an outstanding education for all our students.
"But these excellent facilities won't be just for the school - local people will be able to use them as well."
Councillor Mary Arnold, Brent Council's Lead Member for Children and Families, said: "The council has worked hard with the academies and our partners to make this project happen, so I am delighted that it has finally got the go-ahead.
"The rebuilt academies will have the kind of excellent, modern facilities that are crucial to help them to continue improving academic standards and so help give local students the best opportunities in life."
Councillor George Crane, Brent Council's Lead Member for Regeneration and Major Projects, said: "Not only will this project transform the academies but it will also help regenerate the area and create jobs for local people. We will take care to limit noise and disruption for neighbours and students throughout."
The work is expected to be finished in 2014, and the scheme is being funded by central Government with money from the Schools for the Future Programme
To find out more visit www.brent.gov.uk/crestacademies