Portsmouth's Mayfield School unveils its new 'outstanding' new building
A FRESH era in education has begun at one of the city’s largest schools as it finally opened the doors to its new science and tech centre.
Mayfield School, in Mayfield Road, North End, has officially unveiled its new building during a ceremony on Thursday.
The facility, located on the east field of the site, is one of the biggest upgrades to at Mayfield in recent history.
The hi-tech hub will cater for more than 1,200 infant, junior and senior school pupils at Mayfield, which is the city’s only ‘all-through’ school, and includes 74 classrooms, a spinning studio, modern arts facilities, and a revamped pre-school nursery.
There is also a dedicated science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) centre.
The overhaul has been years in the planning, with Portsmouth City Council successfully bidding for cash from the Department of Education to fund the upgrade.
David Jeapes, Mayfield School’s headteacher, said the new centre would provide ‘outstanding opportunities’ for children to develop into the scientists and engineers of the future.
He added: ‘I'm delighted to be able to formally mark the opening of our new school building.
‘Mayfield is undergoing a transformation and the move into this purpose-built “all-through” school building is the next step on our journey.
‘The council, Mayfield Staff and governors have all worked very hard over recent years to turn our dream into a reality.’
The building, built by construction firm Kier, was handed over to the school in August, which allowed pupils to move into the new facility when term began last month,
Cllr Suzy Horton, Portsmouth City Council’s education boss, was excited by the upgrade.
‘The improvements to Mayfield School add to the fantastic opportunities we have in education in Portsmouth and demonstrate why it's so important for children to be in school regularly, to work hard and enjoy all that school has to offer,’ she added.
The STEAM centre has a focus on product design. Education chiefs hope it might prepare pupils for ‘high-end careers in engineering and design’, Portsmouth City Council said.
The new building also includes improved provision for disabled access and dedicated ceramic and digital photo labs.
Mr Jeapes hoped the school would be at the ‘heart’ of the city and said parts of it would be ‘available for use by the community’ outside of school hours.
He added: ‘What we have got here is a great opportunity. The fact that it has been purpose-built for us as an “all-through” school is amazing and we are very privileged to be in this position.’