Calderdale Council’s cabinet voted in favour of proposals to transform the crumbling Todmorden High School building.
The plans, part of the schools capital funding programme, also include the building of a new school on the site of Ferney Lee Primary School.
Headteacher at Ferney Lee Helen Hannah said: “I just want to say we think it’s fantastic news story for us.
“The building is Edwardian and while it is a wonderful building the budget implications aof managing it are significant. We had to make redundancies last year because of the budget restrictions.”
The cabinet had considered several options for the school, including renovation, but settled on demolition of some of the existing building and creation of a new school premises on the existing site.
However parents of pupils at the school spoke out at ththe cabinet meeting about the plans pointing to the importance of the school’s heritage in inspiring young people.
One parent said: “I would urge renovation to be reconsidered. For me and my children this is a very important building where two Nobel Prize winners have studied.
“The importance of the links to the past shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Cabinet councillors voted unanimously in favour of th plans which will now go before Full Council for final approval.
However, deputy council leader Barry Collins said: “We are talking about broad plans. This doesn’t mean that everything in this paper isn’t negotiable.”