First look inside High Tunstall College of Science’s £17million new building as work presses ahead at Hartlepool school
A new multi-million pound secondary school building that aims to transform students’ education is half way to completion.
The £17million state-of-the art facility will replace around three quarters of the existing High Tunstall College of Science in Elwick Road.
The Mail was given a first look inside the new building as the exciting project reaches the mid-way point.
Headteacher Mark Tilling said: “We are half way through the project. The builders have been on site since August and we are due to open on November 7.
“It doesn’t quite feel real yet. After all the campaigning to get the school we have finally got it.
“It’s great. It’s starting to feel like a school now.”
The large single building has three floors dedicated to different subject areas.
The top floor will largely be used for sciences with the middle floor focussing on English and maths and hosting the library.
The ground floor will be the hub and ‘heart’ of the building where the main hall, four court sports hall, dance studio and theatre will be.
Mr Tilling said the building has been designed with High Tunstall’s increasing focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects in mind.
“It has been very much designed around our STEM agenda,” he said.
“We are really thinking about the young people’s experience of school rather than just erecting a building.
“It’s about putting students at the heart of the school.”
The new building also includes a dedicated area to support Special Education Needs and Disabled (SEND) students to receive mainstream education.
And instead of a large staff room, there will be numerous faculty rooms to give teaching staff time and space they need to unwind and prepare lessons close to their respective departments.
Opening up the new building to the wider community is also a key part of the new building with residents able to make use of its sports facilities and the town’s creative talent will be able to perform in its new theatre.
“It’s going to be a wonderful facility,” added Mark.
The construction work is being carried out by BAM Construction.
The former Thornhill School, now D Block, will remain and is benefiting from £500,000 of investment to make sure the fixtures and fittings mirror the new building.
High Tunstall’s Life Centre, swimming pool and youth centre will all stay and the rest of the site’s 40 year old buildings will be demolished and replaced with sports pitches.