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Carillion gets go ahead for Bolingbroke Hospital free school conversion

The London Borough of Wandsworth has approved plans for Carillion to convert the disused Bolingbroke Hospital into an 800 pupil free school.

The Bolingbroke Academy will become the borough’s first free school for pupils aged 11 to 19.

It will open in September 2012 and is scheduled to grow by 120 students per year until it reaches full capacity in 2018.

Plans include a new GP surgery.

The Grade II Listed building will be converted to provide a modern educational facility but heritage features like the nursery rhyme tiles in the former children’s ward will be preserved.

Recent additions to the main building will be demolished and the external facade cleaned and restored.

A new extension to the south side of the building will provide a new two court sports hall.

Three smaller extensions will provide new internal staircases to enable children to move easily from one class to the next.

Two outside play spaces will be created within the site as well as a wildlife garden.

Wandsworth Council’s planning chairman Cllr Nick Cuff said:  “This scheme will rescue a prized local landmark from dereliction and create a modern, attractive teaching environment for generations of local children. The building’s historic fabric will be restored to its former glory and the unsightly extensions replaced with high quality, modern structures.

“The academy’s location will plug a conspicuous gap in the borough’s secondary school provision and the GP practice will be a major asset to the local area.”

The derelict Bolingbroke Hospital was bought by Wandsworth Council earlier this year to ensure the building remained in community use.

The construction project and future running cost of the school will be funded directly by the government but the council will continue to own the site’s freehold.

The designs were produced by Ryder Architecture.

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