Marking start of Torquay school build project
STAFF and supporters of a Torquay school marked the start of its £4million building project to help transform its future.
The ground-breaking ceremony took place at Barton Hill Academy as part of a build programme to prepare the school for the 21st century.
Headteacher Jane Young and Richard Ellis, regional director for Interserve, cut the turf to symbolise the start of the £3.8million project.
Work has been progressing on the scheme which will see the buildings revamped, modernised and extended.
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Taking place over five phases, the work is due to be completed for June 2014.
Mrs Young said the school buildings which suffered bomb damage in the Second World War were now becoming aged.
She said: "It is a very exciting time because we also became an academy on September 1 and are now part of a huge chain of national schools.
"We are delighted with the positive impact this scheme of build will make to our school when it is completed.
"It will help us to deliver on our mission statement, of creating a sustainable school, inspiring life-long learning, in an ecological and inclusive environment at the heart of our community."
Mrs Young thanked everyone who had been involved in the project, in particular, the construction team for their part in carrying out the works while not disrupting school life.
Attending the occasion were Cllr Chris Lewis governors, teachers, support staff, contractors Interserve, children and the Friends of Barton who laid on refreshments.
Mr Ellis, from Interserve, said: "We are delighted to have been appointed to work on this exciting project and very pleased to be here to take part in this symbolic milestone ground breaking ceremony event. The refurbishment is now well under way and we can all look ahead and share in what will be an interesting and educational process. We wish the school continued success as it begins its journey as an academy."
The Rev Gorran Chapman, vicar of St Martin's Church and school governor for more than 20 years, said: "This is a very exciting and ground-breaking time in the history of Barton.
"The school will be unrecognisable, so full of new things and wonderful new opportunities that are being built and provided for the purpose of allowing you to be ground breaking, with your learning."