EGTON School pupils officially opened their new mezzanine floor last Friday (11 Nov), with the help of the Bishop of Whitby.
The new mezzanine floor has greatly expanded the school, creating a new teaching space, reception and staff room and was partly funded by donations from families and members of the community.
Head teacher Liz Orland said that the project had been a long time in the making.
“It’s been quite a journey,” she added.
“I was privileged to have been given headship of this school 10 years ago and one of the first things I was told was ‘you do know how much space there is up there don’t you?’
“So this is a project which has been a long time coming to fruition.”
In order to raise the £15,000 required to supplement a £100,000 grant, the school held many fund-raisers, including selling individual steps up to the mezzanine floor, with the sponsors each getting their name included on a ‘wall of fame’.
Mrs Orland added that these fund-raisers were so successful they could have sold the steps twice over.
For the opening ceremony the school pupils and staff were joined by parents, governors, the Bishop of Whitby Martin Warner and former Egton pupils who were present when the project started but have since graduated to Eskdale School.
Rev Warner cut the ribbon to officially open the development and said: “What a wonderful school this is.
“What a fantastic privilege to visit it again and also to discover what schools can be at their very best.”
Addressing the pupils, he added: “One of the things you have shown us is that at school there’s always more, because in this wonderful school you have discovered that there’s a way of getting more out of your school building, and that’s an important statement.
“Schools should be places where we discover how much more there is in life and in us, and that’s what the adventure of learning is all about.”
The work was completed by Northern Construction Solutions in 12 weeks, half of which took place while the everyday school activities were going on around them, and so Mrs Orland reserved special praise for their efforts.
The Bishop of Whitby also took the opportunity to bless a collective worship cloth prepared by a number of the children, which has now taken its place in the school.