The Rushden Echo, 4th July, 1913
School Building at Rushden
The tender of Mr. G. J. Fisher, of Northampton, for the reconstruction of the Alfred-street Schools, Rushden, at £4,430, was accepted on Saturday at the meeting of the Northamptonshire Education Committee. Mr. John Claridge, who is a member of the County Committee, entered a protest on behalf of the School Managers of Rushden, who, he said, were opposed to the expenditure of nearly £5,000 on the reconstruction of the Alfred-street schools. Though the School Managers of Rushden, at their last meeting, accepted the tender, Mr. Claridge said that was only because they felt they were forced to do so. The school population of Rushden is decreasing, and the opinion of the Managers is that the expenditure ought not to be incurred. The Alfred-street Schools, Mr. Claridge pointed out, were enlarged twenty-seven years ago, and a fifty years’ loan was obtained for the work. Only a little over half the loan has been repaid, and now the schools have been condemned. In answer to Mr. G. Henson, of Wellingborough, who said that three years ago the School Managers of Rushden approved of plans for the reconstruction of the schools, Mr. Claridge explained that the Managers did not give their approval willingly. Mr. Henson pointed out that the Board of Education were pressing for the work to be done and had agreed not to ask for improvements to other Rushden schools until this was completed. The Rev. E. W. Harrison said that every member of the committee most cordially sympathised with the wish of the Rushden ratepayers to cut down the expenditure, and if Mr. Claridge could show where expenditure could be curtailed, he would support it going back. The Chairman said that the hands of the Committee were practically forced by the Board of Education. He sympathised with the remarks of Mr. Claridge, and expressed the opinion there should be finality to the demands of the Board. The tender was then finally approved of, and the work will be proceeded with. When completed, the school will provide accommodation for 394 mixed and 261 infant scholars, together with a new central hall, school clinic, and attendance officer’s rooms.