A state of the art £18m school has opened in Hartlepool.
High Tunstall College of Science opened its doors on November 7 after an extensive three-year design and build process.
Headteacher of High Tunstall, Mark Tilling, said: “The college has been an important part of Hartlepool for over 47 years, but the building was old and tired. The facilities and the resources for our young people were not up to the standard they should have been.
“The design of the new college is really special. We’ve worked hard with BAM Construction to ensure that the architects and designers have devised a college that is fit for purpose and moves us forward.
“The new college is designed around the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) agenda meaning STEM is at the heart of everything we do.”
Facilities in the new building include 10 new science rooms and one demonstration laboratory used to showcase scientific activities which cannot safely be performed by students.
Also included are new art rooms, creative design rooms, food technology and food demonstration rooms where the school will invite top chefs to demonstrate to its students. A brand-new learning resource centre has also been included where students can learn independently from classes.
The four-court sports hall features solid wood flooring and the ground floor will feature a theatre and dance studio.
Classrooms in the new college contain brand new interactive televisions designed to ensure functional tools which allow teachers to teach, and students to learn.
The new school has been built around what Mark describes as the ‘Heart’.
He said: “We have really placed emphasis on this building being for young people. The ‘Heart’ contains our special needs units and our open plan dining area which is accessible for all students.
“The exterior of the ‘Heart’ has been designed from the bottom up with the creative and design subjects occupying the bottom floor, academic subjects such as Mathematics and English on the middle floor and specialist subjects such as Science, Information Technology and Languages on the top floor.
“Also, linking into the retained building will be further subjects, humanities, music and drama. Meaning we continue to offer a broad and balanced curriculum at High Tunstall.”
Funding for the project has been allocated by the Government’s £4.4 billion Priority School Building Program fund, local authorities and from capital directly raised by the school.
High Tunstall is also looking at growing the size of its year groups from 240 students per year group to 270 students, meaning more students can benefit from improved learning on offer at the college.
Future developments planned for the school include a 3G pitch, tennis courts and improved swimming facilities which could be completed in 2020.
The school has now re-opened to students and the official opening of the new college buildings will take place on March 24thwhen the college expects to welcome a special guest STEM lecturer to perform the grand ceremony.
Over the past three years the college has welcomed esteemed guests like Helen Shaman OBE, Professor Lord Robert Winston, Marcus du Sautoy and Dave Coplin to be the lecturer and look forward to carrying on this tradition.
Mark concluded: “This project showcases that our students are cared about and invested in. We’ve always been proud of the High Tunstall name and now we have a facility that is befitting the name, befitting the College and will make parents and students feel proud for years to come.”