A SHOREHAM school has ‘gone full circle’, with the official opening of its new extension.
The new entrance, reception area, staff room and small hall at St Nicolas and St Mary Primary School, in Eastern Avenue, were opened by Father Terry Stratford last Friday.
Father Stratford, from St Nicolas Church in Shoreham, was standing in for the Archdeacon of Chichester, who had to attend a funeral, so could not perform the ceremony as planned.
Head teacher David Etherton said Father Stratford had been there for the laying of the foundation stone when the school was built in 1970, and he was also at the opening of the school in 1971.
The foundation stone has now been moved as part of the extension works.
Mr Etherton explained: “It would have been buried behind the wall, so we have taken it out, and we have had some white paint inserted in it, so it feels like we have come full circle.”
Pupils gathered in the playground to watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which included David Fiore, owner of the builders, Adenstar Developments, and his grandchildren Kate Barness, nine, and her sister, Isabel, seven, who happen to go to the school.
A banner procession through the new offices and accommodation followed, finishing in the main hall for an assembly.
Mr Etherton said: “We have been in the accommodation for quite some time now and it is great having the staff room and the small hall in the heart of the school, which is very much part of our ethos and our vision.
“We have had a few events already and it is really brilliant, it really works well, so we are really pleased with the design.”
He said this was phase one and it had enabled the school to take some more children.
Mr Etherton said: “Our numbers have gone up by about 50 per cent and our staff has gone up, so we are really grateful to the local authority for what they have done and how they have provided for and supported us.
“We do want to go to phase two in the future, so we look forward to that.”
The assembly, watched by about 100 invited guests, featured a comedy sketch about the building work and readings from pupils, songs, prayers, a violin solo and blessing.
Father Stratford said: “I love this school. Forty-four years ago, where we are now was just a very muddy field.
“I took part in the laying of the foundation stone and the next year, when the school opened and the first boys and girls came in.
“I have known this school for quite some time and what a good school it is. You get a foundation for your life and foundations are very important.”
A wall made from Lego bricks was broken up and a piece was handed to each of the guests as a memento. The children also received a special brick at school on Monday.