Sixth form centre ready for the start of term
PUBLISHED: 09:00 31 August 2011
BACKWELL School’s new sixth form centre has been finished weeks ahead of schedule.
The £2.4million development, built by Willmott Dixon Construction, is a two-storey building with a new lecture and performance theatre, a dance studio, classrooms and sixth form social and working areas.
Pupils will now be able to use the state-of-the-art facility when they return from the summer holidays.
Headteacher Julian Baldwin said: “Willmott Dixon has worked closely with our students throughout the programme to minimise disruption and make this a learning experience for students, too.
“The building was not scheduled for completion until after the start of the new term but the construction team has finished it several weeks early.
“Being able to move in ready for the return of students in September makes a big difference.
“The building is a real asset, providing a 21st century social and working environment.
“It offers versatile, quality space that truly complements our status as a specialist school in performing and visual arts and also has much to offer the local community.”
Members of the community will also be able to benefit from the new centre as the school is hoping to open it up to put on activities for members of the public.
The school was due to get £2.7million from the Government for the project, but due to a cut in funding the amount was reduced.
Plans for the school were adapted to cope with the changes, but money did not cover the cost of retractable seating in the lecture theatre.
Since the beginning of the year, staff and pupils have been trying to raise an extra £60,000 through fundraising activities and by asking former pupils and businesses to sponsor a seat in the new lecture theatre.
Enough has now been raised for the seats to be ordered and they will be installed in October.
In the meantime, donations will still be welcomed by the school and anyone interested in sponsoring a seat can call the school on 01275 463371.
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