Lord Sebastian Coe and Halifax's paralympic star Hannah Cockroft unveiled a new £3.4m sixth for centre for Ravenslicffe High School.
Hundreds of supporters celebrated the opening of Ravenscliffe@SpringHall,
The new building overlooks the paralympic gold medallist and world champion's home track in Halifax on the historic Spring Hall estate.
The local and wider community have pulled together in a unique way to raise over £1.8m of funds to supplement the £1.6m allocated to the school for this development by Calderdale Council in 2011, using a funding allocation they received back in 2011 from central government.
Martin Moorman, head teacher at Ravenscliffe, said: “We are delighted and thrilled that Seb Coe and Hannah Cockcroft have committed time from their very busy personal diaries to come and celebrate the opening of this purpose built centre.
“To have two icons from the world of sport here just shows how the vision for Ravenscliff@SpringHall has touched so many people. We are so grateful for the support of so many individuals, charitable trusts and local and multinational businesses who have donated finance in excess of £1.8m.
“In just four years and in the midst of very tough financial times within the education sector, this is an exceptional level of public and private funding. The vision is twofold: to raise opportunities for young people with special needs to develop their sporting and vocational skills in a specialist and accessible facility that overlooks Spring Hall athletics track.
“Additionally it provides an environment where people from Calderdale and West Yorkshire including young and old, those with specialist needs and those without can access a quality and specialist learning environment right in the centre of Halifax.”
Key supporters have included Danny Sawrij and a team of staff from Leo Group PLC who have raised over £375,000 to date including £250,000 in just one night at a charity ball in July 2017.
Additionally, staff at Lloyd’s Banking Group and Covea Insurance have raised over £70,000 and £40,000 respectively. Significant grants have been received from The Wolfson and Garfield Weston Charitable Trusts, Sport England, Community Foundation for Calderdale, St James Place Foundation, Wooden Spoon Charity and many more.
Most notably the many Friends of Ravenscliffe, from near and far, have raised tens of thousands of pounds through a ‘Buy a Brick’ scheme and a whole host of fundraising activities and events.