Easter 2019 has been announced as the long-awaited opening date for The Academy, Selsey, to return to its home.
The huge project has had some challenges, mostly due to the site being planned from scratch after the fire that engulfed three-quarters of the school in August 2016.
Changes include locating the school hall near the entrance to make it more accessible for community use and centring the school campus around a library instead.
Headteacher Tom Garfield said: “It’s about creating an environment in which the enjoyment of learning for learning’s sake and reading for reading’s sake are encouraged and inspired as opposed to tolerated.
“The new building has given us an opportunity to design that in rather than dealing with a building which is 50 years old and trying to make things work within your agenda at the moment.
“But the progess has been incredible over the last few weeks, I have to say the weather has helped tremendously.”
He said staff and students had been ‘very resilient’ to working in temporary classrooms and it was ‘very exciting’ to see the building take shape.
One aspect he’s particularly pleased with is the double height art room, which will have windows on three sides.
“That’s been really important for us, at a point when there are debates about school funding, for us to be able to commit to the arts in that way, because providing a broad curriculum is critical and we’re putting out what our school is about,” he said.
Now the heavy lifting work is finished, five Year 8 students interested in construction have also had the opportunity to go on supervised site visits to see what has been done so far and why.
“They’ve been really excited and came back to me saying, ‘we’ve seen a bit of it you haven’t seen’,” he said.