Pupils have taken centre stage at an official turf cutting ceremony to mark the start of building work on a new school in the county.
The multi-million pound development will be located on Bedlingtonshire Community High School’s Palace Road site and is due to open its doors to students in September 2016.
It’s the start of an exciting new era for our school, pupils and staff.Chairman of governors Trevor Weldon
Once complete it will accommodate more than 800 pupils and provide a modern and new education facility for current and future generations of children from Bedlington and the surrounding area.
Chairman of governors Trevor Weldon said the build marked a new era for the school.
“Cutting the first turf is very significant and for all those involved in the project it marks an exciting time,” he said.
“It’s the start of an exciting new era for our school, pupils and staff. ”
In addition to classroom and administration space, plans include a four-court sports hall and outdoor sports pitches and surfaces.
There will also be a multi-station cardio gym and dance studio, which will be run in conjunction with Active Northumberland and be available for community use out of school hours.
The school will also have enhanced thermal performance which will mean the new building will be kept cool in summer and warm during the winter.
In May 2012, education secretary Michael Gove announced that the Bedlingtonshire Community High School was one of 261 facilities across the country which would be rebuilt through the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).
Northumberland County Council has contributed £1.8m towards the scheme to bridge the gap between the government’s funding and the cost of the work.
Galliford Try plc has been appointed as the official contractors to build the two storey building.
Galliford Try North East and Yorkshire’s managing director, Cliff Wheatley, said: “It’s fantastic news for all concerned that we have been able to get to this point now of starting on site at Bedlingtonshire Community High School.
“Galliford Try North East has a strong track record in education projects and we hope to bring all that experience to bear in ensuring that the children of Bedlington receive a school building to be proud of.”