The keys to the multi-million pound Armfield Academy in Lytham Road, South Shore, were handed over by builders this morning, ahead of the school’s opening on Monday.
Following months of work by Conlon Construction, youngsters in year seven, reception, and nursery will arrive for classes in a refurbished block which once formed part of Arnold School.
Headteacher Mark Kilmurray and executive principal Chris Lickiss were amongst those given a tour by Conlon boss Michael Conlon, taking in the new hall – complete with an historic lectern salvaged from the closed Arnold – classrooms, drama studio, and kitchen.
Buildings on the north side of the school, named after Blackpool FC legend and former Arnold pupil Jimmy Armfield, who died in January, remains on target to be finished next year.
Mr Kilmurray said: “There’s still a lot of things we have to sort out in terms of the classrooms, making sure the children know where they are going, health and safety arragements, lesson timetables, and making sure teachers have all the equipment and resources to deliver to the children on Monday morning.
“In the short term, for this first half-term, all the children will be in the primary building. But once we get to half-term, more buildings will be made available to us and we will be able to offer the full area of curriculum.”
Mr Conlon described the facilities as “cutting edge” and said former pupils would “recognise the original scructure and entrance, but, pretty much, inside it is all new.”
The school will be run by the Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT), and will become the first new school in the resort since September 2013, when the £5m Gateway Academy opened.
It will eventually have the capacity to teach 1,280 children between the ages of two and 16.
Mr Kilmurray was previously associate principal at Montgomery High School in Bispham, while Mr Lickiss was headteacher at Unity Academy in North Shore.
Both schools are also run by FCAT, with standards raised in recent years, according to education watchdog Ofsted.
The academy trust, the largest on the Fylde coast, also runs Aspire Academy, Hambleton Primary, Gateway, Westcliff Primary, Mereside Primary, Garstang Community Academy, and Westminster Academy, which changed its name from Claremont Community Primary last year.