A £3million school building project has been completed, much to the delight of staff and children.
Expansion work at Windmills Junior School, in Hassocks, has enabled it to take in 90 children per year rather than 60, with room for a maximum of 360 pupils.
The expansion gave the school six new classrooms for children in Years 5 and 6, a learning resource centre, a library and creative hub, and a learning café for cooking lessons and community use.
In addition, more space was created for an art and design technology studio overlooking the Downs and a large area for drama and music.
Frances Gaudencio, chairman of governors, said: “It has turned out really well because the governors and the senior leadership team were involved from the start, liaising with West Sussex County Council.
“We are thrilled with what has been achieved in a collaborative process.”
The need for additional school places in the Hassocks area has been a long-running one in the face of the area’s growing population.
Windmills even had temporary classrooms installed in August 2012 to help cope with the rapid rise in pupil numbers.
The new extension – bordered with flowers planted by the Friends of Windmills – was officially opened on September 28, with Andy Petch, county councillor for Hassocks, cutting the ribbon.
Headteacher Leila Murray praised her predecessor, Eileen Sharpe, and the governors for their vision in getting the expansion ball rolling and the legacy left for future generations.
She said: “We have the opportunity to be more dynamic and creative in the way we use these spaces.
“We can be the centre of the community – it is a very exciting opportunity.”
Describing Windmills as “a very happy environment with a committed team of governors and staff”, Mr Petch said: “It’s easy to overlook how important junior school is. It presents you with a chance to learn about who you really are.”
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