MORE than 2,400 Southampton pupils are set to benefit from an £8m upgrade for three of the city’s “crumbling” schools.

Regent’s Park Community College, Sholing Technology College and St George’s Catholic College will have state of the art science labs, resource centres and sports pitches rebuilt in a bid to bring the crumbling buildings up to date.

It comes after years of begging by head teachers and 12 months after children were banned from using one building when it was deemed too dangerous to use.

Leaking roofs and inadequate drainage systems have seen one school flooded, while the increase in school numbers means pupils are being squeezed into buildings too small for current class sizes.

Sholing Technology College will have £2.4 million pumped into the Middle Road site.

A new driveway will make it safer for the 1,000-plus students to leave the school, while the multi use games area (MUGA) will be resurfaced, a new drainage system put in and the library – currently housed in a condemned temporary building on site – rebuilt as a learning resource centre.

Head teacher Martin Brown said: “It’s been condemned for about a year now. These repairs are basic but urgent. The school has been destined for a refurb since about 2008 but with each change of administration it hasn’t happened.”

Regent’s Park Community College is set to get the biggest pot of council cash, with £4.2 million being splashed on the King Edward Avenue site.

Science labs will be updated and two new toilet blocks built at the school which has 700 students.

Head teacher Jonty Archibald, pictured, said: “It’s about the city investing in the future of the school. We are performing really well but it’s about continuing that into the future.”

Southampton City Council are contributing £1.8 million to a demolition and rebuild of the science and technology block at St George’s Catholic College.

But diocesan surveyor, Hilary Foley, said the council cash is just a “small contribution” to what will be a “multi-million pound” project aimed at accommodating the college’s expansion.

City education chief, councillor Darren Paffey, said: “The work is very much overdue.”

He denied it could have been done any earlier. He said: “I’m delighted that we can now release some money from the local authority despite the lack of central government money.

“They aren’t the only three schools to have money put in. We have done the whole primary expansion project and this is about improvement. It’s about prioritising the money that we have. We have a capital budget that looks at capital projects but we have other buildings that we have to look at as well.”

Southampton’s Tory education spokesperson, councillor Paul O’Neill, added: “The government has been making a number of grants available to Southampton for different projects. There are lots of pressures.

“It’s balancing the priorities and that’s the issue. The need the improvements and I’m very pleased they will be done.”