A NEW primary school could be built on the site of Staffordshire University's Nelson Library after plans emerged to sell the building and three acres of land on the Stafford campus to Staffordshire County Council.
Subject to planning permission the new 420-place school along with a 52-place nursery would open in September 2015, with the university library relocating to the Octagon area of the Stafford campus.
The county council is planning to invest £5 million in the project.
Staffordshire University's Director of Estates Duncan White said: “We have made no secret of the fact that as a University we have a surplus of space and that we have an ongoing commitment to improving space efficiency and reducing costs."
Mr White said students and their learning experience were at the heart of the University's decision to sell off the site.
“Longer term, we are looking at the future use and development of the University’s estate and a decision regarding the University Estates Strategy is set to be made by our Board of Governors in the New Year.”
Director of Information Services Bernard Shaw said: “The relocation of our library to the heart of our Stafford campus will bring learning resources much closer to the delivery of our curriculum and we envisage that this will lead to improved student access to both the library and adjacent accommodation and break out rooms to support both quiet and team working."
He said work to design and fit out the new library in the Octagon would begin in the New Year but stressed the University would continue to use the current site until students completed their exams in summer 2014.
Stafford County Councillor and cabinet member for learning and skills Ben Adams said Stafford was growing fast, pointing to the MOD's announcement they would be relocating a Signal regiment from Germany to Stafford.
"We have to act now to ensure that children receive the education they deserve," he said.
"Building a new school will not only cater for that demand, but will create employment opportunities, as well as providing facilities and lifelong learning opportunities for the wider community."
He said the site of the Nelson Library was ideally located opposite Western Road School and the good condition of the building meant it could be easily modernised and upgraded to provide a purpose-designed school for the children of Stafford.