WORK has begun on a £2.2million community building for Wythall.
The hub is being built on the site of Woodrush High School and will incorporate the school and public libraries, as well as having a gym and dance studio, youth centre space, a café and meeting rooms.
The building will be accessible to the public, although some areas such as the gym will be used by pupils during term time hours.
Funding for the site, which is being project managed by BBLB Corstorphine and Wright and built by AM Griffiths, has come from the school itself, the Department for Education, developer money for the fitness suite and from Worcestershire County Council, which is selling the existing library on May Lane in a bid to make £305,000.
Faye Parker, director of youth community at the school, told the Standard: “We are really excited, it’s been in the pipeline for around two years.
“For us it’s encapsulating the whole of what the community should be doing in working together to reach a goal rather than working independently.
“We’ve taken the approach that with lots of savings to be made we could be negative but if we all come together to meet our targets hopefully we can achieve them.”
She added extensive consultation had seen residents asked for their opinions and the young people particularly had been involved, even with designing the site.
Coun Lucy Hodgson, responsible for localism and communities at Worcestershire County Council, said the authority would still be responsible for the public library service and staff would work alongside school staff in a bid to increase usage and improve what was on offer for the community and students.
“The county council takes the safeguarding of children extremely seriously and this has been embedded within the design of the new building and the way the new library will work.” she said.
“This is an excellent project and is a great example of partnership working involving the county council, parish council, the school and local community for the benefit of everyone.”