Revamped Blackpool school's grand official opening

Official opening of the new Hawes Side Academy.  Pictured L-R are head boy Addison Panetta with headteacher Michael Shepherd, Issy Simpson, Blackpool mayor Ian Coleman and head girl Ella Nickson.
Official opening of the new Hawes Side Academy. Pictured L-R are head boy Addison Panetta with headteacher Michael Shepherd, Issy Simpson, Blackpool mayor Ian Coleman and head girl Ella Nickson.
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A Blackpool school is celebrating the end of a two and a half year project with the official opening of its new building and grounds.

Hawes Side Academy, off Johnsville Avenue, got the go-ahead in January 2015 for a complete re-build along with South Shore Academy in a £20m Priority School Building Programme scheme.

Offical opening of the new Hawes Side Academy

Offical opening of the new Hawes Side Academy

The new school was built on part of the grounds and was then followed by demolition of the old 1930s building to be replaced by revamped grounds and play areas.

The children settled in to their new classrooms after Autumn half term last year and now the contractors have finally handed over the site after carrying out the works on the grounds.

The school itself has a library as the centre-piece, with hi-tech classrooms featuring touch-screen teaching walls and ergonomically designed desks which allow flexibility in the classrooms.

Outside there is a memorial garden for former pupils who have died, a trim trail and outdoor classroom, sensory garden multi use games area and a wildlife area.

The school playing fields have been properly drained to provide better playing areas.

The official opening was carried out by Mayor of Blackpool Coun Ian Coleman and year four pupil Issy Simpson of Britain’s Got Talent fame.

Members of the local community and former pupils were present along with the brass band from Park School.

Visitors were treated to performance from current pupils in Mandarin, a language which the school is promoting, and a ukulele band.

Headteacher Mike Shepherd said: “The new school building was phase one, the demolition phase two and the landscaping of the grounds phase three of the project and we are here now in a school which is the envy of colleagues at other schools. We are so lucky. This was the official opening and we are absolutely delighted.

“We were blown away by the affection the local community has shown at the celebration event we had for the old school and we want to maintain that spirit with the new school.

“We had so many of those same faces here today which was wonderful.”