WORK on the new multi-million pound Maltby Academy has finally started after years of planning.
The main officials involved in the project gathered to mark the start of building work on the new Business and Enterprise Centre on Monday.
Principal David Sutton said it was an exciting time and the new facilities would be fit for learning in the 21st century.
He stressed that the iconic clock tower, which was subject to a campaign to retain it, could remain be part of the school site.
Mr Sutton said the building and refurbishment work would take place in phases to ensure as little disruption as possible for students and teachers.
Already the former sixth form area has been transformed into new technology spaces over the summer.
He said: “The work will take place in phases. We will take ownership of one space and them move into another.”
“At the moment we are digging out for the Business and Enterprise Centre which will face Braithwell Road. The design has just been finalised and and the foundations will be prepped.”
“We have done remarkably well. Youngsters have adapted really well in the first three weeks. They are really excited. We have been talking about this for the last three years in some shape or another and now they are seeing the machines on site and the workmen on site.”
Mr Sutton said the Business and Enterprise Centre will be completed by September next year, with all work finished on site by Christmas 2013.
Currently pupils are using the leisure centre near to the school and space around the pavilion, while the sports centre is out of action.
Mr Sutton added: “We are accessing a whole host of community spaces around to manage the transition. We are being able to manage it by having additional space. We are a community project. It’s long awaited so people are going the extra mile to support this project.”
He said the old grammar school, the focus of the campaign to prevent its demolition, could not be used as a teaching space again
“At the moment it is down for demolition,” he said. “We are working with the community to see if there is something we can do with that element. We will see if there is something that can be done.”
“That block cannot be used in its current form. We won’t be able to have the teaching element within the scheme, however we are looking at the clock tower to see if there is any potential to retain it. We always said we would look at some form of building or iconic feature on that hill that can be associated with the new Maltby Academy.”
Bam Construction project manager Paul Nicholson said the company was looking to get pupils involved in the building work, possibly through work experience or apprenticeships.
He added that up to 100 workers could be on site during peak times and deliveries were been made at times to minimise the disruption to students.
Mr Sutton added that the main job of school leaders and teachers was to ensure the school makes improvements in its exam results while building work continues.