IT may look like bricks and mortar, but it represents much more than that.

Southampton’s newest school was officially opened yesterday as pupils, staff, councillors and a wider community came together to celebrate Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill’s brand new home.

The £16m state-of-the-art facility was unveiled in a blaze of colour, sound and imagination through a special arts festival featuring students and local performers.

And bosses at the academy hope the new surroundings will help inspire not just the children who learn there, but the whole community it serves.

Teachers and pupils have had a few weeks to settle into the new building – which features a theatre, gym, sports pitches and TV and video recording studio – having moved from the former Oaklands School site at the start of September.

Ysterday’s celebration event featured talks by TV presenter and former Millbrook School pupil Fiona Phillips and Oasis Community Learning founder Steve Chalke.

Principal Ian Golding said he has already taken great delight from the amount of people using the building outside of school hours.

He said: “This isn’t our building – it belongs to the children and their families and the community.

“I come in here every night of the week and there’s woodcarving club, a Weightwatchers meeting, Liberty Pride cheerleaders, there’s two performing arts groups, and it’s just amazing.

“Every time I’m here at 7 in the evening it’s heaving.

“It’s great, great stuff and that’s what we believe in, that a community that is bound together by activities and moral support for each other is a stronger community.”