Greenhead College in Huddersfield is to look again at plans for a new building before a formal planning application is submitted to Kirklees Council.
The top-performing sixth-form college, which has 2,500 students, has secured Government funding to revamp its science facilities.
Greenhead, on the historic former Greenhead High School site, will be one of the first 50 schools and colleges to benefit under the Government’s £1 billion Schools Rebuilding Programme.
The college has revealed plans to construct a new four-storey science block housing 15 specialist biology and chemistry labs and classrooms.
The new block will be built on the existing car park and the current entrance, where cars and students often come into conflict, will be made pedestrian-only.
A new car park will be built on the multi-use games area (MUGA) and the MUGA moved to vacant land elsewhere.
An existing access from Greenhead Road, currently closed, will be re-opened to vehicles and will be used as a new entrance to the car park.
A formal planning application has yet to be submitted but principal Simon Lett and architect Grant Sellars took a pre-application document to Kirklees Council’s Strategic Planning Committee on Wednesday.
Mr Lett told councillors that Greenhead College was one of the best sixth form colleges in the country and one of the best for A-level provision.
He said the college was “very over-subscribed” and the science block, housed in an old 1960s building, needed to be replaced.
He added: “We are really excited to be working with the Department for Education and partners to considerable advantage of young people in Kirklees.”
While supporting the need for investment in new facilities, councillors were less than impressed by designs shown to the committee, said to be constructed from “buff bricks.”
Speaking at the virtual meeting Clr Nigel Patrick (Con, Holme Valley South) said: “It looks like a brick box to me. It would be nice if we could add a bit more flair to the architecture.”
Clr Carole Pattison (Lab, Greenhead) was concerned about parking by students on surrounding streets around Greenhead and Marsh. She said commuters also parked up around the area blocking up parking spaces for people wanting to visit Greenhead Park.
Some people going to the park had to leave their cars more than half-a-mile away, she said.
Clr Rob Walker (Ind, Colne Valley) praised the college and said there was a genuine need to improve the size and quality of the teaching facilities but he added: “The outside of the building does look a bit utilitarian. I would like to see a bit more flair and ambition.”
The architect said he would take the comments on board but said they were partly constrained by cost.