New £16m school site has‘wow’ factor

An architect's impression of the new �16m Hastings Academy building
An architect's impression of the new �16m Hastings Academy building

THE NEW state-of-the-art £16 million Hastings Academy has the ‘wow factor’ according to its proud headteacher.

Theresa Phillips cannot wait to welcome its 735 pupils into the building on Monday for the first time.

After more than two years of major building and reorganisation, the redeveloped site is ready for business following the half-term break.

“It certainly has the wow factor,” said Mrs Phillips. “I can’t wait to welcome everybody on Monday.”

The old building, which opened 60 years ago in 1953, was closed down for the last time on February 8.

Pupils had an extra week at home but were given online work to carry out.

Staff spent two weeks packing hundreds of crates to shift their equipment and books into the new building.

Designed by London-based architects Feilden Clegg Bradley, the new school offers the latest in modern design and technology.

There are modern science rooms, labs, home economics areas and a forest school. There are interactive screens in every classroom. There will also be a multi-games area and full disabled access.

The building has wi-fi throughout and all pupils will have access to an iPad in the coming months.

It is all a world away from the post-war red brick building of the 1950s.

Hastings A School was completed in 1953 when it opened as a girls secondary school.

The school started accepting boys around 1974.

It changed its named to Hillcrest and then in September 2011 became the Hastings Academy.

The old building will be demolished in the coming months and it is hoped the new main entrance will be in use in September. There will be space for another 165 pupils taking the total to 900 over the coming years.

Mrs Phillips added: “This was an extraordinary challenge.

“I am enormously grateful for the support of our staff and parents.

“We have a building that is truly fit for the 21st century and I am sure everyone will be equally as proud of it.”