Education chiefs have hailed the redevelopment of another Wolverhampton school – the last being completed as part of a multi-million pound transformation of secondary education in the city.
Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education, took a tour of Heath Park School's stunning new home – and gave it top marks.
The £24m transformation was completed as part of the council’s £270m Building Schools for the Future programme, with the new school opening its doors to 1,300 pupils and 140 teaching and support staff for the first time in September.
The old buildings are in the process of being demolished with the school now occupying a new three-story building on Prestwood Road which boasts many stunning features including a 250-person capacity lecture theatre, a film and media suite and fully equipped food technology room.
It also has a range of flexible spaces throughout the building which can be adapted to suit a variety of teaching styles, along with state-of-the-art science labs, art rooms and a discreet section of the school for younger, key stage 3 students.
Councillor Darke said: "These are incredible new facilities and demonstrate just how far education provision has come in Wolverhampton in the last decade or so.
"The new school will help further improve the excellent teaching and learning which already takes place at Heath Park, which was rated Outstanding by Ofsted in 2014, and I am delighted that the City of Wolverhampton Council has been able to give the pupils and teachers the facilities they deserve.”
Headteacher Georgetta Holloway said: "We are delighted with every aspect of the new school; our students have always been amazing and I'm pleased that they now have a building which is also truly amazing.
"Everything about the new school is as planned. The students are hugely impressed and proud of their new surroundings and have responded very positively. In addition, we've invested heavily in high quality furniture, equipment and resources in order to provide the best possible learning environments.
"Throughout the planning phases our key aim was to create a university or business feel to the environment. We want our young people to have the highest possible aspirations and an environment in which the onus is very much on self-management.
"The main difference, apart from the outstanding quality of the build and the facilities, is the sheer volume of natural light which now floods the school. The contrast to the old site, with its mix of 1970s and Victorian buildings, could not be greater and it is one aspect staff and students fully appreciate.
“We would like to extend our thanks to the team of builders and support staff, creative advisers and the council who have helped develop a building that will go on to support generations of students, teachers and the wider community for decades to come, and which will also become a centre for new and existing community-based projects.
"We are looking at the needs of the local community and have every intention that Heath Park becomes a vibrant community resource, not just a school building."
External works are continuing at Heath Park, with the demolition of the remainder of the old school underway which will enable work to begin on a new sports hall, tennis courts, social areas and staff parking.
The Building Schools for the Future programme has seen all 25 secondary education providers in Wolverhampton either rebuilt or modernised, helping make the city a better city in which to live and learn.
Councillor Darke added: "The contrast between the old and the new schools is incredible, and shows what a difference the Building Schools for the Future programme has made to secondary education in Wolverhampton."