Old Holbeach Library to be used for school expansion plan
Holbeach’s former library, empty and unused for 15 months, is to come back into use to help a school expand.
Children and staff from William Stukeley Primary School will soon be making the short trip to the town’s one-time library in Church Street while work takes place to build a new classroom at the school.
Senior staff and governors of the school have reached an agreement with officers from Lincolnshire County Council children’s services department to increase its Reception class intake from 40 to more than 60 in September 2018.
Head teacher Tom Emery (pictured back row) said: “There is an increasing number of reception-aged children in the Holbeach area who will be eligible for school places in September.
“This is a one-off, rather than a trend, but this year we had 64 parents making applications for just 40 school places which meant we were oversubscribed.
“Lincolnshire County Council looked at the number of applications made to us and asked us if we could take in 64 children which we couldn’t because we’re a medium-sized school.
“I said to the county council that the only possibility we have of doing that is if we move out of our library, but without putting it into storage.”
Holbeach Library moved from Church Street into Coop’s expanded superstore on Fleet Street in February 2017.
Since then, inquiries about turning the library into a home for Holbeach Parish Council and Holbeach Town Band have both come to nothing.
Mr Emery said: “Our chairman of governors, Richard Nicholas, came up with the idea of using the old library because to take in additional Reception children we would need another classroom.
“So we aim to utilise the library from September until the building work is completed in Spring 2019.
“Our children will be using the library in Church Street as they would if it was in school.”
Coun Nick Worth, county councillor for Holbeach, said: “Essentially. this is good news for William Stukeley (pictured right) Primary School because it needs to expand in order to encompass the new intake and the school is desperately in need of the room for expansion.
“It will also help with some space for after-school classes as well and so it will be nice to see the building back in use in about the next seven to eight months.
“But after that, we’ll have to see what the options are, a lot of which will depend on the future intake of children.
“That will be number one on the list of priorities because both William Stukeley and Holbeach Primary Academy will be pretty near capacity soon and they’ll both need to expand.
“It’s just a question of at what stage that will happen.
“But for now, I welcome the old library being brought back into use.”
Katie Gosling, of Lincolnshire County Council's corporate property team, said: "William Stukeley Primary School will temporarily be using the former library building in Holbeach while work to expand their school takes place.
"We anticipate this will be for between six and twelve months.
"However, any possible use of the building after that has not been decided and will depend on the council's assessment on whether or not we have any further need for the building."
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