Pupils will work from new portakabins at blaze site

Plans: The temporary accommodation blocks by Portakabin Ltd that will be used for students at fire-damaged Leyland St Mary's
Plans: The temporary accommodation blocks by Portakabin Ltd that will be used for students at fire-damaged Leyland St Mary's

Images of new portable buildings on the site of the fire-ravaged Leyland high school were revealed this week.

Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College was engulfed in flames last month, causing irreparable damage to more than half of the school.

But plans for the temporary accommodation that will provide school places were shown off during an open evening yesterday.

Youngsters from years seven, 10 and 11 last week returned to the Royal Avenue site for their classes, and it is hoped that all children will be back by Christmas.

Headteacher Kathy McNicholas now plans to visit some new schools in the area to look at the best features and try to learn from any pitfalls.

She said: “I’ll be doing a lot of research in terms of what works and what doesn’t work.”

She added: “It’s all about keeping the very best of what is St Mary’s, so the warmth and the welcome and the spirit to be reflected throughout, but with that fresh, modern look making sure the pupils get the very best facilities and the very best resources.”

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that it will be September 2015 before the school is fully back in business.

And estimates given to County Hall bosses reveal the bill for clearing the decimated site and replacing the 60 per cent of buildings destroyed in the blaze will total “not less than £10m” - which will all be covered by insurance.

The bulk of that – £7.6m – will come in reconstruction costs. Clearance of the site has cost £100,000, the replacement of furniture and equipment will total £400,000 and £35,000 will have to be spent on replacing IT equipment.

The costs for re-housing the teachers and 730 pupils at the former City of Preston School in Ribbleton will reach around £150,000 including transport, and the price of temporary classrooms will top £1m.