CUTS: Flood victims miss out in schools blow

By Gareth Dennison | 09/07/2010 0 comments

CUTS: Flood victims miss out in schools blow

PLANS to rebuild Aston Comprehensive would have included flood alleviation measures to allay the fears of residents who were washed-out twice in two years.

Rotherham Borough Council said that a new build on the Swallownest site would take into account the drainage problems brought about by the school.

Residents who had hoped to see an end to their flood worries within two or three years are now fretting that this week’s BSF announcement will delay a solution further.

Maureen Knowles (58), of Aughton Road, said: “We were thinking it might only be once more that we get flooded before the school is built.

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“It’s awful and unless you’ve had it happen to you, you don’t know how it feels. We never want to go through it again.

“We’ve been to regular meetings.

“At the last one we saw the plans for when they did the new school, which included a basin design to hold the water.

“Now everything is back up in the air.”Maureen, her husband David (55) and daughter Laura (23) had to move out for 16 months because of the damage done by the 2007 floods.

Two years later—when heavy rainfall was centred over Aston and Swallownest—they were again forced out of their home.

“We lost everything again, and only moved back in just before Christmas,” said Maureen.

Our excess is £5,000 and at the last renewal the building and contents insurance went up to £104 a month.”

The school itself was also hit by the flooding, and deputy head Andy Hodgson said: “Whatever flooding solution was part of BSF will still have to be addressed at some point in the future.”
He added: “We’re disappointed to have lost the funding.
“We have worked hard over the past 18 months, and there have been a tremendous amount of hours gone into developing our vision and clarifying the strategies required.

“A student group has been involved in the process. They visited architects and came up with plans and designs which we were hoping to incorporate into the new buildings.

“But we are determined to put a positive spin on what has been a galvanising experience over the past 18 months.

“Part of it was not about the new buildings but transforming learning and we are still hopeful of being able to tap into some of that.”

Staff at Aston were hoping to see a new, separate building for Key Stage 3 pupils, to ease their transition from primary to secondary education.

They would then move to the exam phase of their education in a different part of the school grounds, with more specialist teachers and studies.

“It was about reorganising the school and we were looking for a sort of halfway house between primary and secondary school,” said Mr Hodgson.

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