Campaign to save part of Maltby Academy

A group of residents are trying to save the historic frontage of Maltby Academy and have set up a petition (w120417-4a)
A group of residents are trying to save the historic frontage of Maltby Academy and have set up a petition (w120417-4a)

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save part of Maltby Academy from demolition.

Local residents have joined forces to try and prevent the 80-year-old frontage from demolition as the school undergoes an £11million re-design.

Campaigners say the building was ‘built in Maltby, by the people of Maltby, for the Maltby community.’ They have started a petition and put campaign posters up around the area.

The academy said it was looking at the ‘best benefit for the students present and future.’

Campaigner Andrew Searson said: “The campaign to save the old Maltby Grammar School frontage is not about depriving the Maltby children of modern facilities.”

“On the contrary most involved in the campaign have children of their own, nieces, nephews and grandchildren who may benefit from the modernisation of the school.”

“It’s about preserving part of the town’s cultural and historical heritage. The building could be clearly incorporated into the plans for regenerating the site and building a state-of-the-art, modern infrastructure behind it.”

He added: “There are many Maltby people who believe that it should stay and form a proud symbol of the school’s heritage and Maltby’s history, whilst also complementing the new phase in the school’s redevelopment.”

Mr Searson said campaigners were planning to leaflet every house in the area urging people to object to the plans.

David Chambers, who has three children at the school, said: “It (the frontage) has long stood as a beacon for the educational aspirations of the Maltby Community. Maltby residents have always been proud to point out that this is their school and its loss would be a severe blow to the pride and self esteem of the town.”

He added that plans to move the main entrance to the opposite end of the school gives the impression ‘that the school is turning its back on the town.’

Michael Conlon felt they were ‘ripping the heart out of Maltby.’

Local resident Susan Beale thought she was a lone voice when she first raised concerns about the building.

“I knew Maltby cared but I didn’t know there would be a group like this,” she said. “My sole concern is that Maltby heritage shouldn’t be ripped out and our children shouldn’t be denied their heritage.”

Maltby Town councillor Joy Bradford said she would be raising concerns will the other councillors.

“The fact is that they have been saying all along that they are keeping this building. A couple of weeks ago we saw the plans and this building is the one that is going.”

“They are keeping a lot of the other old buildings. If they can’t afford to do this building up with the money they had, couldn’t they just lock it up while they got funding from somewhere.”

Maltby Academy principal David Sutton said: “At the feasibility stage and subsequent invitation to tender, architects undertook an extensive review on the use of existing buildings on the site to meet the agreed education vision.”

“Unfortunately, there were issues identified with a number of the old buildings, including the old grammar school building that could not be addressed within this scheme. The issues relating to the building forming the old frontage are to do with suitability, access for all (DDA) and best benefit for the students present and future.”

“We recognise that any scheme to demolish the frontage could provide challenges given the history of the building, however, we need to ensure that we have an overall scheme that meets the educational needs of all Maltby learners.”

“The project steering group are intending to involve interested community groups in future planning for this particular area of the site. The ambition is to find ways to characterise learning past, present and most importantly future on this south elevation.”

Building and design work is due to start in June and be completed by September 2013. The plans include 33 per cent new build and 67 per cent refurbishment and remodelling.

Mr Sutton added: “The academy and BAM Construction are working hard to deliver buildings that the students and the community can be proud of. The new buildings will feature an innovative Business and Enterprise centre that will house the specialist subject teaching spaces of Business, ICT and Mathematics. The Sixth Form facilities will be integral to the building design for this area.”