STUDENTS and staff celebrated the end of an era at three Bridgwater schools which are set to be demolished as part of a £50million project.

Chilton Trinity Technology College pupils will be moving into a modern site behind the old college building, while Robert Blake Science College and Elmwood School will benefit from sharing a futuristic new home.

The Mercury visited students last week, and they were buzzing with excitement on their last day in their old schools.

Simon, 15, from the Head’s Leadership Team at Chilton, said: “At the moment we don’t really have the space to do our own thing and the new building offers enough space for every age group.”

Jenny, 15, also from the Leadership Team, said: “There will be more space to do art and drama, and the areas are very ‘subject specialised’.

“We even have an outdoor theatre and a media green screen.”

Leslie Greenway, who took over as head teacher at Chilton from Pat Hollinghurst, said: “We’re very excited, but the school will be sure to carry its values over to the new building.

“Students will have access to an internet cafe in the ‘heartspace’ and there will be lots of computers available, along with 197 laptops. It’s just amazing.

“I’d like to thank Pat Hollinghurst and Gareth Williams, assistant head, for their role in moving the project forward.”

Ann Winter, head teacher of Robert Blake Science College, also stressed the importance of maintaining the ethos of the old school in the new school building.

She said: “We’ll be taking the best of Robert Blake with us.

“What a lot of people don’t realise is the students helped to design a lot of the new school, which really shows their commitment to the project.”

The students at Robert Blake were just as excited about the new move, and the Mercury asked them what they are most looking forward to.

James Chin, said: “I’m looking forward to more open spa-ces, better sport facilities and upgraded technology.

“I think the move will benefit everyone.”

Sam Folland said: “I can’t wait to see productions in the new and imp-roved drama studio.”

Molly Keirle, said: “I’m most excited about the new music facilities, which include a top recording studio and new i-Macs.”

Across the way from Robert Blake, pupils at Elmwood School were signing the ‘goodbye’ wall and counting down the days to the move.

Jaqui Tobin, now ex-head of the school, told the Mercury: “It’s just so fantastically amazing.
“This project has been a big part of my life for the past six years and I think getting the new build was the right thing to do.”

Liz Hayward, who has taken over as head, said: “This school has been here for 56 years, but the students and I are extremely excited about the move.

“The current school hasn’t got wi-fi, so it will be great to be in a building where the children can use the computers wherever they like.

“I saw the new building again a few weeks ago and it’s just beautiful.

“We’re very lucky to have it.”

Students will enjoy their new schools, built by Contractor BAM Construction, when they return on November 8-9.