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'We now have facilities fit for the 21st century.' Hunstanton school's £1 million revamp revealed

Bosses of a West Norfolk secondary school have unveiled the revamp which they say means its students now have facilities fit for the future.

Around £1 million has been spent on an extensive refurbishment of the Smithdon High School in Hunstanton during the shutdown brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.

And its headteacher, John Hirst, says the project will signal the start of a bright new period for the school, as more students return following the pandemic.

Renovation work on C Block at Smithdon High School in Hunstanton (38238890)
Renovation work on C Block at Smithdon High School in Hunstanton (38238890)

He said: “We now have 21st century facilities to go with a 21st century curriculum, and some great new appointments coming up.

“This is the start of a very exciting era for Smithdon so we can’t wait to show off to people how the place looks.”

Already a distinctive building because of its Brutalist architectural style, the school, which is part of the West Norfolk Academies Trust, has seen extensive work over recent months.

Construction staff at work inside Smithdon High School (38238763)
Construction staff at work inside Smithdon High School (38238763)

The food technology area, two classrooms, two ICT suites and two art rooms have been refurbished, along with offices.

A large conference room, teaching space and art exhibition area have also been created, while new roofs have been put on buildings.

And the buildings, which currently have alphabetical designations, are to be renamed after figures from its history, except the art block, where a competition has been held to choose a name representing the school’s future.

Mr Hirst said: “We know Smithdon is already a very distinctive-looking place but we’re really excited about how we’ve transformed it, to make it even more forward-looking and aspirational.

Some of the work being done at Smithdon (38238821)
Some of the work being done at Smithdon (38238821)

“We want to make a visual statement that our school is an exciting, dynamic place to be, and this positivity is reflected not just in the quality of the facilities and buildings, but the teaching as well.

“I’m particularly excited about C Block, where the art studios are. For a long time it’s been too hot in the summer and too cold in winter, but we’ve given it a complete overhaul, with new windows, flooring, insulation, light and heating, as well as a fresh coat of paint.

“With the transformation of C Block, a new roof and a complete new floor in the sports hall, this is the most significant investment in the school in a very long time.

“When the school was built, its architectural style was pointing the way to the future, so it seems particularly appropriate that after such a time of disruption, this overhaul is making the school, and our art studio in particular, somewhere that once again looks to the future.”

A series of open events, both virtual and face-to-face, is being planned at the school this autumn.

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