A SOUTHAMPTON secondary school rebuilt after a £16m project is to welcome its first group of students.

The new Bitterne Park School on Dimond Road is to welcome 360 Year 7 students today.

As previously reported by the Daily Echo, the school has recently been rebuilt on the same site and has increased its size by 300 places.

The plans to increase Bitterne Park’s size from 1,500 students were approved by Southampton City Council back in 2015.

Susan Trigger, executive headteacher, said: “They will be the very first students to enter the new building. There has been a huge amount of dedication and immense hard work from both the Kier construction team and staff of the school to be ready for this special occasion.”

Ms Trigger, who has been the headteacher at Bitterne Park School for the past 20 years, will be executive headteacher while Graham Wilson, former deputy headteacher, will be the new head.

The building features a theatre, an assembly hall and drama studios.

More works will be carried out on site in the next six months, when the old building will be demolished and new sports fields and facilities will be created.

The school will be fully open from September 13.

An official opening ceremony is expected to take place later this term.