The facility, which has been built by Collinson’s traditional division, contains a new four court sports hall, fitness suite, three state-of the-art science laboratories and two classrooms to boost both sporting opportunities and teaching space at the school.
Students began using the new facilities in September, with science, PE, and business and economics being taught in the new buildings.
Robert Duxbury, managing director at Collinson Construction, said: “We’re proud to have worked alongside Backwell School to bring these inspiring new spaces to life. The new sports facilities have not only helped create better sporting opportunities for Backwell students, but will encourage the wider community to take part in more physical exercise too.
“This is a great project that has brought together a mixture of building techniques, including a traditionally built block of new science classrooms which brings the science teaching spaces in line with the rest of the school’s building quality, while also giving the school additional teaching space to deliver classes in a more covid-secure way. We’re looking forward to seeing the students make use of in the years ahead.”
The project was part-funded by the Department of Education’s priority schools building programme, which helps schools carry out essential maintenance and repairs of old buildings.
Backwell School’s trust, the Lighthouse Schools Partnership (LSP), was also instrumental in the process and contributed additional funding to allow the school to upgrade its temporary buildings – not just the science labs that were identified in the original scheme.
Jon Nunes, headteacher of Backwell School, said: “The new building looks fantastic. It is spacious, bright and modern. It will be home to lessons in three different disciplines – PE, science, and business and economics, and means the school can finally stop teaching in the pre-fabricated huts that were installed as temporary classrooms way back in the 1980s.
“The demolition of these old ‘terrapins’ was a landmark moment in making the school building stock fit for purpose.”
The new facility was handed over to the school at a grand opening, which comprised a ribbon cutting ceremony and unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the opening.
It was attended by key contacts from the Department for Education, Collinson and the school community, including British historian, writer, broadcaster, presenter and film-maker Professor David Adetayo Olusoga OBE, who officially opened the new building.
Jon Nunes continued: “David represents many of the qualities that Backwell School aspires to on behalf of our pupils. His academic work – some of which features in the Backwell school curriculum – has been widely praised and his involvement in different media, including television, has done a great deal to bring challenging ideas and knowledge to a wider audience.
“I know that the students and staff at Backwell School feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to him.”
Professor David Adetayo Olusoga, said: “The new building transforms the environment in which Backwell students can learn. They’re leaving behind classrooms intended for people of my generation and are stepping into a properly 21st century space.
“Having had the pleasure of meeting some of the young people at Backwell, I’m sure they’ll make the most of what’s on offer.”