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Maxwell Park, in Borehamwood, is the 'least' preferred option for a new school
Hertsmere Borough Council's leader has warned that bulldozing a 'magical' community centre and replacing it with a school is not a popular option.
Councillor Morris Bright has promised to do “everything” in his power to help save the well-loved Maxwell Park centre, in Borehamwood.
Thousands rallied together to protect it from demolition after Hertfordshire County Council announced plans to turn it into a school.
With more than 2,500 new homes to be built in the borough over the next ten years, officials say a new school will be necessary to cope with the influx of new people moving in.
But Conservative Cllr Bright says a plot of land at Hertswood School, in Cowley Hill, and another next to it, are the two favoured options for the school.
He said the issue has become a cross-party matter and he has held countless meetings to discuss the best course of action.
He said: “Demolishing the Maxwell centre is the third least popular option.
“None of us want to see it knocked down, we’re all trying to find ways to keep it open.
“We have spent many hours looking for a way forward on this. We’ve committed ourselves to find a place for the new school the community will be happy with.”
The Elstree and Borehamwood District Community Association also made an offer to buy the centre for community use last year - something which Cllr Bright supports.
He has invited Hertfordshire County Council’s deputy leader Chris Hayward to tour Borehamwood, to see the “fantastic” work the centre does and look for other viable sites.
The community centre was originally due to shut last October, but in April, but was given a stay of execution until it could be determined whether facilities could be rehoused at the new 96 Shenley Road.
After the announcement, campaigners described Maxwell Park as 'magical' and promised to continue fighting for the centre
During a meeting about saving the centre on Monday, Borehamwood North councillor Leon Reefe accused the Conservative group of “not doing enough” to save the centre.
But Cllr Bright added: “We fought for it to stay open for another year until all other options for a school are examined.
“Councillors Pat Strack and Sandra Parnell have been at the forefront of this and deserve a lot of praise.
“It’s been a long process but we’ll stay on top of this. Not by words but by actions.”
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