Pupils at Newcastle High School for Girls have started their new school term in a brand new senior school building following the completion of development work by lead contractor, Wates Construction.

Commissioned by the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), the 12-month build programme has comprised the refurbishment of the School’s iconic Victorian buildings at Tankerville Terrace, as well as the creation of a new 3,625 sq m three-storey block.

Designed by architects Ellis Williams, the new development hosts a multi-purpose assembly hall and performing arts venue, dining room, fitness suite, state-of-the-art science laboratories and additional classroom spaces.

As part of Wates’ commitment to creating engagement initiatives with the School, the contractor also held a number of building workshops and site visits for pupils over the course of the project.

The new development sees the Senior School facilities in Jesmond now match the already superb Junior School facilities in Sandyford, to create the finest educational environment in the region.

To mark the completion of the flagship scheme, Newcastle High School for Girls and Wates Construction held a ‘move in day’, where staff and girls were invited to come and take a sneak peak at the new premises before the start of the new school year.

The project has seen Wates grow its relationship with the GDST, which to-date has included the rebuilding of South Hampstead High School in London.

Hilary French, Headmistress at Newcastle High School for Girls, said: “Our new Senior School is absolutely incredible. The quality of the build inside and outside is exceptional and we are grateful to the teams of people who have worked so hard to realise our vision.

“Every day, girls at Newcastle High will benefit from a 21st Century education environment that is an inspiration, exciting and designed to enhance learning. Every day, our staff will be able to extend their teaching by making full use of our outstanding resources and spaces. Our whole School community is so proud to have the finest facilities in the North East.”

GDST Director of Estates Christine Sillis added: “The opening of this development marks a new beginning for Senior School pupils and staff at Newcastle High School for Girls. A lot of hard work has gone into making it the very best environment for teaching and learning across every subject area. I pay tribute to all the staff involved from the GDST Estates team, from the architects, from Wates and, of course, from the school itself.”

Paul Dodsworth, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Yorkshire and North East, commented: “Over the past 12 months, we have extended our longstanding partnership with the GDST to deliver a new building that sets the foundations for 21st century methods of learning, whilst also preserving the School’s important heritage.

“It is fitting that our expertise in the education sector has further cultivated our presence in the North East, whilst also enabling the creation of a prestigious school that will help develop its pupils for the world of work.”

Wates’ appointment to the project closely followed the contractor’s announcement that it would be expanding into new markets in Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. The completed project at Newcastle High School for Girls is the first in a line of many to complement this regional growth strategy.

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