Outline planning permission was granted this month by Loulé Câmara to the Almancil-based International School of São Lourenço to build a new school close to the EN125.
Although this planning permission provides the rights to build a completely new school to accommodate up to 680 children, the school has said that the project will be developed in several phases.
Initial construction will see buildings that can accommodate 350 students, with “manageable expansion and steady growth to continue over several years”.
The school’s board of governors hopes to be in a position to begin work by the end of this year, but told The Resident that it is aware that much work and consultation has to be completed before these plans can start.
Chris Greentree, chairman of the board of governors, said: “We are delighted, after much hard work, to be given this opportunity to build a state-of-the-art school here in Almancil.
“We will continue to strive to beat the expectations of our parents, students and staff, providing the best education in the Algarve.”
Terry McGuire, the head teacher, said that the school’s goal is that every child placed in their care out-performs all expectations and the new school that is being designed will ensure that the best facilities and resources will be available to enable the students to achieve these objectives.
He also said that all students enrolled at the school in its current location will be given preference for the available places at the new school.
President of Loulé Câmara, Seruca Emídio, said: “I am pleased that this important development for a new international school in Almancil will continue to attract the very best professional foreign families to the Algarve to help fuel the growth of our tourist economy.”
In 2006, a small group of parents came together to save the school at the last minute after a foreign investor pulled out of a building project to provide a new school.
At that time, the school had paid a 250,000 euro deposit on a parcel of land in the centre of Almancil and was unable to find the balance.
This group of parents advanced the 750,000 euros required to secure the land and the future of the school in return for reform and a new structure for the school association.
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