Work to expand a Chelmsford secondary school is set to begin next year after an outline business case for the £3.4milllion project was approved.
Essex County Council wants to expand Moulsham High School from an eight form entry school (1,200 pupils) to a ten form entry school (1,500 pupils).
Self-managed by the school, the project would see three existing science rooms remodelled to create four additional general teaching classrooms.
A new building would also be constructed, containing an assembly hall and stage, four new science labs and other facilities.
Subject to planning permission and other processes, building work should start in May 2017 and be completed a year later.
Chelmsford is undergoing significant growth and with development set to continue in the coming years, plans are being put in place to ensure there are sufficient school places to meet demand in the area.
Two other Chelmsford schools are due to take bulge year groups in 2017, utilising existing space.
Moulsham High School will then expand by 18 places in 2018, along with a bulge year group at another Chelmsford school. A further 30 pupils will be taken at Moulsham from 2019.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Pupil numbers in Chelmsford have risen dramatically and projections suggest the demand for secondary school places is likely to grow in the years to come.
“As a council, we are committed to ensuring the county has the infrastructure it needs to grow and are planning to spend about £360million over the next three years on creating thousands of new school places across Essex.
“The project at Moulsham High School will enable us to provide much-needed places at a good and popular school in Chelmsford.”
In addition to the expansion at Moulsham High School, plans are also in place for a huge new £40milllion all-through school on the Beaulieu development.
It would operate as one school with two buildings, eventually accommodating 1,200 secondary pupils and 420 primary pupils.
The primary building would open in September 2018 with the secondary building opening a year later.