SCHOOL pupils were open-mouthed in awe yesterday after moving in to their brand new £16 million academy.
The newly built Outwood Academy at Adwick opened its classrooms for the very first time, with children turning up hours ahead of lessons to get a glimpse of the pristine new building.
The school’s 1,200 pupils and 150 staff have now waved farewell to their old premises on Windmill Balk Lane, Adwick, which are set to face the wrecking ball.
And Outwood executive principal Julie Slater said the move into the new three-storey school just a stone’s throw away had left pupils delighted.
She said: “The reaction has been absolutely phenomenal.
“We had students arriving from seven o’clock because they wanted to be the first to see the new school. They were very excited and curious, and it has been quite emotional for a lot of people.”
The opening of the new school is the culmination of a 16-month construction programme to replace the former Adwick Comprehensive School with a state-of-the-art building including improved classrooms, a dance and drama studio, and a personalised learning centre used for one-to-one work with pupils.
There are also up-to-date sports facilities, a new synthetic turf pitch, and a multi-use games area as part of the Doncaster Council project.
Mrs Slater added: “The pupils have very quickly been finding their way around and getting familiar with the building and where everything is.
“Some of them were in absolute awe and were so used to much older facilities that they couldn’t believe how clean and fresh and exciting everything was.”
The school, which caters for 11 to 18-year-olds, has been built on land fronting onto the Great North Road at Woodlands - meaning pupils are only a few minutes’ walk from their old classrooms.
“It has been a great day for us,” Mrs Slater added.
“It is a learning curve for everyone while we settle in, but the new building is very easy for children to find their way around and it is going to be a better learning experience for everyone from now on.”
Demolition of the former school is already underway, and an official opening for the new school is expected in the next few months.