£10m scheme to convert disused Leeds sports centre into home for free school

The planned new home of Temple Learning Academy.
The planned new home of Temple Learning Academy.
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A FREE school for both primary and secondary pupils is to get a permanent home after a contractor was appointed to carry out the £10m conversion of a former leisure centre.

Temple Learning Academy opened in September, last year, in former offices next to the East Leeds Leisure Centre.

Now ISG is to work on turning the centre into its permanent base. The school took on a reception class last year and will take on its first secondary school aged pupils this September. Once full it will have more than 1,000 children. Planning permission has been granted for the main school building. Once it is completed, the reception classes currently housed in converted offices will be moved across. This will allow ISG to carry out a 17-week refurbishment programme to fit out the vacated classrooms as art rooms, music rooms and design and technology studios.

ISG said the scheme aims to re-use as much of the existing infrastructure from the former leisure centre as possible. ISG will demolish the swimming pool but retain the steel frame building, and re-use the existing sports hall facility. ISG will also retain and repair the building’s façade – installing additional windows to bring natural light into the structure.

Danny Murray, ISG’s Northern regional managing director said: “This latest win builds on our strong track record delivering innovative free Schools and academies across the UK.

“For this scheme, we’ve worked closely with the Education Funding Agency and the academy to best utilise the existing structures on site to create real efficiencies in the construction programme, without compromising on the quality and flexibility of teaching space. The transformation of this under used site is set to create a long-lasting and highly positive community legacy, providing greater choice and a much needed boost to school places in East Leeds.”