Government bid for new Rye College site

Rye College
Rye College

A bid for a new Rye College building is to be submitted to the government this month with plans to put it on the former Lower School site.

Rye Academy Trust is hoping to convince the Department for Education to fund a new school for the town after surveys on the current building at Love Lane revealed maintaining it is not sustainable.

Trust chairman Jacqui Lait said: “Rye College students deserve high quality accommodation that is fit for purpose.

“We are determined to pursue our case for a new college building that meets the needs of 21st century learners.”

Rye College has been in pursuit of a new building for years with hopes pinned on the Lower School site after plans to build a new supermarket were abandoned.

Although newer sections have been added over the years, the 1908 building is dated and now costly to maintain, despite the funding received for electrical rewiring and new plumbing.

The report being submitted to the DfE draws on the findings of a number of condition surveys produced on the fabric of Rye College.

These demonstrated the trust’s ‘considerable challenge’ in funding and delivering the refurbishment required to bring the buildings up to an acceptable standard, while keeping the college operational.

The report concludes a new-build option would offer the best long-term solution for Rye College’s accommodation needs, being quicker and less disruptive than on-site redevelopment.

Both of these options include the sale of the existing site on completion of the new-build, which would help with funding.

The former Lower School site is still considered to be the best option for the new college building but other options are being considered.

The preparation of outline design proposals for the scheme to obtain outline planning consent, would provide a definitive answer as to the best way forward.

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