Glimpse of ‘futuristic’ school

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The new Darfield and Wombwell Adult Learning Centre is finally taking shape, on the former Darfield pit site.

This latest multi-million-pound development in the Barnsley Building Schools for the Future project has advanced steadily, with roofing work to begin this month.

Work has also begun on a new traffic roundabout, to progress the new link road to the ALC.

Plans for a giant wind turbine at the Pitt Street side of the site were blown out by the Council after residents voiced concerns, and the Times was told that a turbine no longer forms part of the scheme.

But pupils and the community can look forward to some new, state-of-the-art facilities, particularly for sport, science and the arts.

Up to 1700 students, including post-16 provision, will enjoy performing in an amphitheatre and both drama and dance studios.

For sport, there will be a range of traditional (and synthetic) sports pitches with viewing terraces for football, rugby and hockey, and external multi-use games areas for tennis, netball and other outdoor sports. Most field and track sports will also be catered for.

A four-court sports hall and a large gymnasium also suitable for badminton will feature inside, and will be open to the community for 48 weeks per year on evenings and weekends for adult learning.

There will be extensive ICT provision, with all teaching areas able to access desktop computers or students’ laptops. The building will incorporate electronic registration, and cashless catering.

Together with traditional teaching spaces, the building will flaunt flexible learning areas that allow rooms to be adapted for use, through the use of movable partition walls and mobile ICT devices.

A science growing area and separate project garden plus a polytunnel form part of the outer areas, and there is a devoted art zone, plus workshop project space.

The vast building will be entered via an ‘entrance plaza’ from landscaped grounds.

Dearne ALC is one of five facilities to have been completed within the current programme of which Penistone is the latest to open its doors.

In total, Barnsley Local Education Partnership will deliver 11 new ALCs across the borough.