WORK on a £2 million project to refurbish a Redditch middle school will begin in three weeks, it has been announced.

Final proposals to transform Lodge Farm Middle School came before Worcestershire County Councillors on Monday during an executive committee meeting.

The building work is part of the county council's Redditch Review, which aims to cut 2,000 surplus places, saving £800,000 a year.

A total of £10 million is to be spent on revamping all schools affected by the shake-up.

Pupils from St Stephen's Middle School, in Riverside, will merge with pupils in Lodge Farm Middle School, on the Studley Road site in Lodge Park.

The county council's head of education policy, Colin Weedon, said: "This is a very big contract for us and has gone out to tender.

"The plan is to extend the school to a five-form entry.

"We are going to improve a number of classrooms, including a new craft, design and technology block.

"We will be refurbishing the existing building because it is between 30 and 40 years old and needs some work doing on it."

The school will have a new roof built on top of the current roof and work is expected to be finished by September 2001, when the Redditch Review is due to come into force.

Mr Weedon added: "At the moment there are about 450 pupils at Lodge Farm and the number will go up to 600."