A NEW building at two Hampshire schools has been officially opened.

Staff and students at North Baddesley Infant School and North Baddesley Junior School celebrated the completion of a £3.79 million expansion.

The village’s schools will now be able to provide a further 90 infant and 120 junior places.

This comes after a new three classroom block, toilet facilities, group work room, and a new kitchen to prepare and serve school meals have been created at the infant school.

Additionally, the main entrance has been relocated to face Botley Road to improve the school’s security and children’s safety; and the boundary fencing has been replaced and improved with additional, updated security to include double lock gates and an intercom.

Meanwhile, a two-storey extension to the junior school comprises four new classrooms, storage and toilet facilities. The work also included changes to the school access paths to improve safety and security, new covered cycle and scooter provision for both sites, and additional parking.

Neil Hardy, headteacher at North Baddesley Junior School, said: “We are delighted that we have two schools that are able to deliver an excellent primary education to the children of North Baddesley. With many pockets of housing development springing up, we are now in a much stronger position to accommodate local children in their own village.”

Carla Lashmar, headteacher at North Baddesley Infant School, added: “We are delighted with the finished classrooms and are already enjoying the outdoor opportunities that they encourage nestled amongst the woodland. I would like to thank the community, governors, staff, parents and children for their support, patience and understanding throughout the building work. The outcome has definitely been worth the upheaval. Now, we are excited to look forward and consider how we can improve our facilities further to support the community at North Baddesley.”

As previously reported, the expansions were part of Hampshire County Council’s county-wide programme to provide 17,500 new places at Hampshire schools by 2021, with a planned investment of around £140 million.

North Baddesley councillor Alan Dowden said: “Now children are in a wonderful learning environment. It really is superb. I’m really proud of it and the community should be proud of it.”