WORK has begun on a £16.5million project to revamp and rebuild a school.
Dene Community School in Peterlee was one of the last to get the go ahead for major rebuilding work under the Building Schools for the Future project.
The plans were well under way when the scheme was scrapped by education minister Michael Gove.
The new complex will offer its pupils and staff flexible accommodation and top facilities, which will allow the school to maintain its success.
The school will benefit from a central “heart” area which can be used as an exhibition space and a central hall is planned, along with better security, ICT and enhanced outdoor space.
Although the majority of the school’s buildings will be replaced, it will be retaining its existing sports hall, which is well used by the community and boosted with the addition of a new 3G sports pitch.
Headteacher George Harris said: “There are daily changes to our working environment and great anticipation that by September 2012 we will have the best possible buildings, facilities and accommodation to reach the highest educational standards possible for the pupils of Peterlee, Horden and wider areas of East Durham.”
A groundbreaking ceremony held at the Manor Way site was overseen by Durham County Council’s chairman Coun Dennis Morgan and Coun Audrey Laing, who represents the town on the authority.