It might have taken almost a decade – but Hetton School finally has a new building.
The new £10million North Road building opened to the delighted staff and students.
A long and bumpy road has led to the building of the new school, but those who use it couldn’t be more delighted with the outcome.
As far back as 2007 the school was earmarked to be part of the Government’s Building Schools for Futures project, but was disappointed when it was scrapped a few years later.
Then in 2012 it was found Hetton had one of the worst school buildings in the country and the Government announced it was one of 261 which needed to be rebuilt.
Just a year later there were more setbacks when the Government announced the collapse of a private funding deal.
Now we have the new building it is absolutely brilliantPhil Keay
However, after much campaigning, work finally began on the new building last year to replace the crumbling premises.
Phil Keay, headteacher at Hetton School, said walking into the new building was like a dream come true for all the staff and students.
Mr Keay said: “I would have liked it if we hadn’t had to wait so long, but now we have the new building it is absolutely brilliant and we are looking forward to the future.”
He said a huge everyday worry of whether they would have to close for the day for repairs has now been lifted.
The headteacher said he would like to say a big thank you to MP Bridget Phillipson who has continued to fight the case for the new school, and to Sunderland City Council who have helped buy all the new equipment for it.
The new school has been created on a fairly simple shape of a long building with three corridors leading off it, one going to all the science rooms, one to the main learning resource area with English and maths and the third to the humanities and arts subjects. The new gym has professional cricket nets and there are plans for tennis courts outside.
Head Girl, Beth Laybourne, 15, said: “Just walking around everything is so new and up-to-date.”
Head Boy, Euan Parker, 15, said: “The difference between the old school and the new school is amazing.”