A CELEBRATION has taken place to mark the highest point of construction of Southampton's first ever all through school.

Last Thursday, Southampton City Councillors met with Morgan Sindall Construction, Faithful+Gould, the Diocese of Winchester and the Headteacher of St Mark’s Church of England School to celebrate the ‘topping out’ of the new school.

The £39.8 million expansion of the existing Primary School which was demolished last year will deliver Southampton’s first-ever four to 16 all-through school.

Once completed, the expanded school will create 900 new secondary school places with the all-through school benefitting from a pre-school nursery, a two-form entry primary school and a six-form entry secondary school.

The new building is set to include air-conditioned classrooms, an outdoor science courtyard and a new sports building for both primary and secondary pupils.

Daily Echo: St Mark's topping out ceremony (Councillor Daniel Fitzhenry giving a speech to all attendees).

Natural and artificial grass sports pitches will also form part of the expanded school, creating a new clean, well-maintained space to help support active and healthy lifestyles.

Councillor James Baillie, Cabinet Member for Education at Southampton City Council, said the project "demonstrates our commitment to improving the learning of our children across the city by providing excellent education opportunities."

He added: "The pupils of St Mark’s C of E School will benefit from best-in-class education facilities, offering greater learning opportunities and ensuring children get the best possible start in life.

“We want a city in which people can start well and have happy and fulfilling lives in a place they’re proud to live, learn, work and hand to future generations.

"We are getting Southampton moving by creating a city of opportunity for all so we can be a happy, hopeful, and ambitious city."

Pupils currently attending St Mark’s C of E Primary School were moved across to a specially designed temporary school building in November last year but from the start of Spring term 2022, primary pupils will move across to their brand-new school.

The temporary school building will then be transformed into a multi-use games area (MUGA).

From September 2022, the first Year 7 pupils will be moving into the secondary school wing of the new building with the final works completed in December 2022.

Stephanie Bryant, Executive Headteacher of St Mark’s Church of England Primary School, added:

“This is a huge milestone for our school and learning in our city. We’re one step closer to welcoming children of all ages at St Mark’s and it’s exciting to see the build really coming together."