A multi-million pound building planned for Ripley Academy is set to be complete in the next two years.
Principal Carey Ayres told visitors to the academy’s year seven entry open evening that work should be starting ‘imminently’ on the new structure.
It will replace G Block, which was built in the 1960s and was the first building that visitors to the site could see. Demolition work has already taken place and tests carried out on the site.
The new building will house a sports hall and assembly hall that could be used by the wider community.
It is being funded with money from a successful bid to the Education Funding Authority’s Priority Schools Building Programme, which was submitted by the East Midlands Education Trust on behalf of the academy.
The Government allocated £2 billion for investment to refurbish buildings at more than 270 schools.
Mrs Ayres said: “We have had various meetings and initial drilling has taken place on the site. We are just waiting to hear when work will start but it is imminent and we hope the building will be complete in the next two years.”
She was speaking at the year seven entry open evening, in front of a packed audience of prospective students and their families.
Carey Ayres told the audience: “We know you are facing a big decision and you are thinking about that next step in terms of where your child will go to secondary school. You want to ensure they are going to be successful and they are going to gain the skills they need to secure the employment of their choice, whatever pathway that will be.
“Here at Ripley Academy we offer a personalised learning programme, we really get to know our young people and there is a real community feel around our school with the older students looking out for the younger students.”
There were 25 activities on offer at the open evening including visiting owls, making keyrings, photography, maths puzzles, music and a drama workshop. Visiting students were also offered the opportunity to take part in a summer school at the academy in August 2017.
Current students also spoke to the audience, describing their own experience of the academy during their first three weeks.
Connor Garner-Shaw, 12, said: “The school is really big but after a few days you get used to it. The summer school really helped me with my nerves as I met the people who were going to be in my form and some of the staff who would be teaching me.”