A £28 million rebuild of Benton Park School in Rawdon is being backed by ward councillors.

The green light for the project was given in April by Leeds City Council’s executive board. Members heard the school was in such a state of disrepair that it had to close for two weeks earlier this year due to damage to its roof. The council has now made a delegated decision to initiate the early works to the school.

This is being welcomed by the three ward councillors for Guiseley and Rawdon, who have pushed for a replacement for the old building and who have held consultations over the past year with school governors and local residents.

Cllr Pat Latty said:”We have had a very long wait to see the rebuilding of Benton Park School. For too long pupils have had to put up with old, run down classrooms and buildings being taken out of use due to deterioration. Only recently a high wind tore off the roof of one building; now they can look forward to a beautiful new school in which to learn and develop to the high standards we have come to expect from Benton Park.”

Cllr Graham Latty added: “I am very supportive of this investment; the school has deteriorated over the last few years and parts of it were becoming dangerous to the pupils. We have pushed constantly for this long overdue replacement and finally we have the go ahead. The design of the new school is of a high standard and will produce a place where students can learn in comfort and safety whilst creating an attractive addition to the local scene.”

Cllr Paul Wadsworth said: “The announcement of this extra funding to Benton Park School is very good news, let’s hope the programme of works is complete in preparation for the occupation by pupils in September 2021, although I understand this is no easy feat given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However we will support the project in any way we can to help see its completion.”

The £28.5m rebuild will see the school increase pupil capacity from 245 places to 300 per year. According to the plans released earlier this year, the new facility will “house traditional classrooms, specialist teaching spaces, sports hall, performance hall and multifunctional community facilities”. The demolition of the majority of the existing school will make way for a new all-weather pitch.