MAJOR development plans are underway at St Leonards-Mayfield School.
Work on a new sixth form centre gets underway before Christmas and the doors will open in September 2013 at the school at The Old Palace, Mayfield.
The centre is being created in one of the school’s Grade I Listed buildings.
It is designed to cater for the specific academic and social needs of senior pupils.
All the school’s A-level students will be brought together in an integrated space.
Included will be a lecture room, a digital learning suite, small group seminar rooms, independent study chambers, an exhibition foyer and more.
Planning permission for the new centre – the first in the school’s history – was granted last June.
The independent Catholic boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18 has worked with London architect Pitman Tozer to transform the outline plans into a detailed design.
The project will cost about £900,000 and follows a period of significant investment in other new facilities at the school’s site, including a textiles department, ICT suite and fitness room.
Another development in the pipeline is the demolition of a 1960s community building linked to the Old Palace Grade I Listed buildings and refurbishment of an old infirmary to create a 64-bed new boarding accommodation and three staff flats.
Planners have recommended that the scheme should go ahead.
Headmistress Antonia Beary commented: “The school is approaching a significant landmark.
“In 2013 it will be 150 years since the founder of the school was gifted this estate in Mayfield and began the process of rebuilding and renewal which saw it rise from the ruins of the Old Palace.
“While we retain a strong sense of pride in our history, we are conscious that a school with vision uses its heritage to construct the best possible future for its pupils.
“That is precisely what we are doing with the sixth form centre and other new facilities.”