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Stowmarket High School unveils brand new £17 million building

A Suffolk school has unveiled a brand new £17 million building.

Stowmarket High School has been completely revamped with 42 new classroom spaces, including design technology, food, photography, music rooms alongside those for traditional core subjects such as science and maths.

The space also includes a main hall, new dining facilities, an activity studio, a learning resource centre and a drama studio – all in all the new space is designed to hold 1,125 students.

David Lee-Allan, headteacher, said: “It is a moment for our school to celebrate, and people walk into the building and go ‘wow’ and I know that that’s important for us as a school.”

He added: “We are delighted that the school has had this level of investment, it’s extraordinary and has created a very lovely building.”

The new building was paid for by the Department of Education’s Priority Schools Building Programme and took five years of planning.

It has been constructed on the same site as the old school and has replaced 95 per cent of the old facilities.

The increase in capacity comes at a time when the town of Stowmarket is rapidly expanding.

Mr Lee-Allan said there were some more difficult moments in order to achieve what he wanted from the project, including having to sacrifice some classroom and office space to ensure the new facilities featured a drama studio.

He said there were disagreements relating to the new layout and that the school had had to work really hard to ‘get some personalisation in the design process’.

However, Mr Lee-Allan insisted it was all because he had the pupil’s best interests in mind.

“Long after I’ve gone, this school’s still going to be here, and I’ve got to get the very best out of this once-in-a-generation opportunity. The building is meant to be here for 50 years so I’ve fought, fought and fought.”

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