A NEW classroom, chapel and community space could be built at a rural primary school, if plans are given the green-light.

The proposal for St Joseph’s RC Primary School, in Hurst Green, has been submitted to Ribble Valley Borough Council. It also includes a new dining room and toilets.

The applicant, The Society of Jesus, is plan-ning to demolish the chapel at the Whalley Road school as it has been deemed unusable because of damp. The new chapel would be on the upper floor of the new extension with the classroom, dining room, toilets and ‘multi-purpose space’ for the school and parish on the ground floor.

Nearby Stonyhurst College has promised to loan art work for the new building.

The society, which helps to run the school, has said that ‘important elements’ from the existing chapel will be re-used in the new building, including the altar pinnacle for the tabernacle, the altar frieze and the holy water stoup. Selected statues and cupboards for the sacristy would also be re-used.

A projector would be installed as well as a video link downstairs for children’s liturgies.

The walls behind the altar would be exposed stone and the windows behind the raised sanctuary area will be lengthened to floor level and have coloured glass.

A spokesman for the Society of Jesus said: “St Joseph’s is a popular local school, pupil applications are up this year, but it is on a restricted site with limited facilities.

“A considerable part of the school building is unusable or in a run-down condition.

“The current chapel is subject to a substantial element of damp and is unsuitable for worship.

“Development of the large two-storey building which is under-used at present will provide a bright new chapel on the upper floor with access for local elderly parishioners and people with access difficulties. Catering opportunities at present such as school meals are severely limited.

“The footprint of the existing chapel, once demolished, will accommodate a new classroom.”

The application is set to be discussed by the council in the next few months.