Inside English Martyrs and Sixth Form College as Hartlepool school welcomes start of new era in multi-million pound building
Pupils and staff have started the new term by moving into their new state-of-the-art building.
English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College has hailed the start of a ‘bright new era’ offering better facilities for both students and teachers.
The Catcote Road School was one of only five North East schools to be awarded a share of £67million of Government funding under the Priority Schools Building Programme.
It boasts a host of new science and ICT suites plus a spacious new dining area and separate sports hall.
The new building incorporates a mix of the old and new by featuring zones named after the former schools that amalgamated in 1973 to create English Martyrs.
A memorial to former pupils Katy Linighan and Richard Clemot-Escobar who died in a car crash in 2004 has been given pride of place in a new chapel garden.
Areas are named after the former St Anne’s, St Bede’s and St Francis schools and the central zone in the new building is called The Holy Family.
Steve Hope, communications and events co-ordinator, said: “That’s what it’s all about, bringing some of our history across.
“It is a new start and a new chapter.”
Headteacher Stephen Hammond said: “We are absolutely delighted with it and hopefully it is the start of a bright new era for the school and the community we serve.”
He thanked BAM Construction who carried out the work over 14 months during which time the old building remained open.
Parts of the old site will be demolished in the coming months with the whole project due for completion next May.
It means the Roman Catholic school will be able to accept an extra 10 new students a year.
New starter Imogen Storey, aged 11, said of the new school: “I think it’s brilliant. I like how it is structured.”
Eleven-year-old Sam Malcolmson said: “It’s a great school. The new building is much easier to get around compared to when I was in the old building for Transition Week.”
Year 7 pupil Shae Isgate agreed adding: “It is a lot easier to get around and the teachers are very trustworthy and nice.”
Staff have also hailed the difference including computing and ICT teacher Glenn McLintock, 24, who is a former student.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s just so modern and fresh. The facilities are brilliant. They have moved on massively from when I was a pupil.
“It is a nicer place to work and is also safer being further away from Catcote Road.”
English Martyrs’ Sixth Form newer building will remain but students will also get to use new laboratories and other facilities on the new site.
An official opening and blessing by the Bishop of Durham Paul Butler is due to take place next month.