WIRRAL’S oldest grammar school could soon become a community hub of sporting activities if plans to develop a new sports hall are approved.
Calday Grange Grammar School’s proposals to create a new four-court sports hall at the Grammar School Lane site will be discussed by Wirral Council’s planning committee next Thursday, January 23.
If approved, the scheme will see the demolition of a temporary single-storey building that headteacher Mark Rodaway believes is “no longer fit for purpose” and replaced by the sports hall, associated changing facilities, storage, fitness suite and car park.
Alterations will also be made to the existing gymnasium.
Mr Rodaway told the Globe the school will be making a bid to the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund for around £2 million to support the development, which he believes will add “significant value” to the school’s offering.
He said: “Our school mission statement focuses on developing potential. All of our students are involved in sport with many participating in sports at a very high level, representing school, county and even country.
“We currently only have a small 1960s gym for indoor sports. The Governors of the school have always sought to provide our students with the very best facilities.
“As a large school with a long history of sporting excellence a modern, indoor sports venue – common in most other secondary schools on Wirral – will add significant value to our offer both to students and the community.”
Mr Rodaway added that the provision of a sports hall will allow the school to further develop already high standards and respond to students’ requests to include more niche sports.
He said: “Not only do we provide opportunities for students to ‘play’ sports but also high quality training and fitness and conditioning programmes.
“We take our responsibility to impact on the health of all our students very seriously and a full size sports hall will allow us to cater for all our students’ needs.”
As well as widening the school’s offering to students, the facility will also provide a valuable community resource.
Mr Rodaway, who told the Globe the school has consulted with local residents and addressed concerns regarding the use of the facilities in the evening, said: “The school supports a wide range of community sports programmes, leasing our gym and fields to junior football clubs, women and men’s keep fit, Zumba, dance and drama groups.
“The provision of a full size sports hall would allow us to develop further partnerships with the community.
“We will continue to work in partnership with our neighbours to ensure that the needs of the school and those of a residential area do not cause conflict.”
The development, which is recommended for approval, is estimated to take around 12 months to complete, with a bid to the Education Funding Agency expected to be submitted by the end of January.