First look at the new Halifax High School

HERE is the first peek inside Calderdale's newest and most controversial secondary school.

Halifax High throws open the doors to its new state-of-the-art home at Wellesley Park this week.

More than 600 pupils will finally get the chance to explore the hi-tech classrooms and modern corridors of the new 14 million building.

Staff moved a massive 2,300 boxes of equipment from the old Clare Hall site and workers have been busily putting the finishing touches in preparation for the pupils’ first day.

The main entrance is nestled between Wellesley Park’s two barrack blocks which date from the 1880s.

This leads directly to the heart of the school, dubbed the Great Hall.

It will be used for assemblies and productions, and features a purpose-built stage with fully accessible lighting gantry.

Two stunning indoor streets have been built on both sides, named after each of the barrack blocks - Musgrove and Wellington.

Each room has an address according to which “street” it is on, with some classrooms in the converted barracks and others in the new build.

Each department has its own ICT room and classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards.

There are five modern science labs, a four-court sports hall and gym.

Teachers have their own section with a shower, toilets, meeting rooms, and a staff room.

The school, which was built under the Government’s private finance scheme, has closed-circuit TV cameras both inside and out to protect the pupils, teachers and the property.

Communal toilet blocks were banned and in their place are individual loos more suited to modern office blocks.

Head Jeremy Waxman said pupils would attend induction days according to their year groups on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“I was awe-struck by this building when I first saw - I still am - and I’m sure the pupils will be the same,” said Mr Waxman.

“I know people were worried about preserving the barrack blocks, but the architects have done a fantastic job and have really managed to keep that history which is so important to the town.

He said the students loved the old Clare Hall site, but were excited about the move.

“The new building is amazing, it will be a real boost to them and offer so many more opportunities,” he said.