WIRRAL’S last remaining “temporary” post-war school hut is being banished to history.
Hutting Operation for the Raising of the School-leaving Age (HORSA) huts were constructed in 1945 after World War II.
They were meant to be a short term measure to cope with buildings being destroyed in the war, the post-war baby boom and the raising of the school leaving age to 15.
Overchurch Infants in Upton is home to the borough’s last HORSA school building – typified by their easily constructed prefabricated structures, concrete floors and walls, metal windows and corrugated roof.
The school’s HORSA building houses its kitchen but a Wirral council report states the building is “in a poor condition”.
Now Wirral council chiefs have approved plans to demolish the hut as part of a £830,000 revamp of the Moreton Road school.
A new classroom will be constructed, an older room will be converted into an ultra modern kitchen and dining room while the old HORSA hut will be bulldozed to make way for a safer and more accessible car park.
It is expected that work will begin in January and the project is set to be finished by summer 2012.
The school’s new look will also see a courtyard redesigned to include a playground and outdoor learning areas will also be created.
The scheme has the full backing of the school and Cllr Sheila Clarke, Wirral’s cabinet member for Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning.
Cllr Clarke said: “I am delighted that the last of the temporary wartime school buildings will now disappear and be replaced with a modern building for children.”
According to the government’s National Archives department, following the decision to raise the school leaving age by one year to 15, an additional 168,000 pupils had to be housed, largely through the HORSA programme.
The investment in education during this period led to 928 new primary schools being built between 1945-50 and led to around 7,000 HORSA classrooms.