Demolition begins on old school site

THE demolition of a village school started this week.

Work has begun on the clearance of Druridge Bay Middle School, which shut its doors for the last time in the summer. Pupils from the school have been merged with students at Amble’s James Calvert Spence College – South Avenue.

Coun Glen Sanderson, ward member for Chevington with Longhorsley, welcomed the news.

“Throughout this country and county there are boarded-up, derelict school buildings,” he said. “Northumberland County Council has been very accommodating and made sure that we haven’t been left in the same position as many other sites.

“The contract to do this is close to £300,000 which is a heck of a lot of money but it is better than being left with a boarded-up school which could become a playground for people who are looking for trouble and vandalism and be a terrible eyesore for the local community.”

Despite the school being demolished, Coun Sanderson said that he understands that the site’s playing fields will still be available for community use.

“As far as I am aware, the assurances given to me, that the playing fields will remain for the use of the people in perpetuity, still remain. That is what I have asked for, that is what I was assured, and that has not changed,” he said.

Coun Sanderson also said that he was keen for the community to have its say on what happens at the site once the school is demolished.

East Chevington Parish Council chairman, Coun Scott Dickinson, said it was sad to lose a ‘monumental building’ and thanked everyone who worked and served at the school.

He hopes the playing fields will remain for the community.