PUPILS and staff at a new central Reading primary school will be celebrating its official opening today.
Guests will be invited to attend the opening ceremony at Civitas Academy, in Great Knollys Street.
The 420-pupil school was built as part of Reading Borough Council's £61 million expansion programme to create more than 2,500 much needed new school places.
Civitas Academy is a two-form entry school which will have two classes of up to 30 children joining the Reception year each year. It is expected to reach its capacity in September 2021.
The Fairview Community Centre in neighbouring Victoria Park is being integrated within the new development with much improved facilities and its own access. The old building will be demolished and the land returned to green space.
A corner of the park provides recreational use for pupils but is available for residents to use outside of school hours.
The new school, run by REAch2 Academy Trust, was temporarily located on a council-owned site in nearby North Street until the new building was completed in November last year.
Now the pupils and staff are settled in, they are ready to celebrate their new school with an official opening ceremony.
Reading Mayor Cllr Mohammed Ayub and Reading's Lead Councillor for Education Cllr Tony Jones will be among the guests along with Sir Steve Lancashire, Chief Executive of the REAch2 Academy Trust and Cathie Paine, Deputy Chief Executive of REAch2.
Salima Ducker, Executive Headteacher of Civitas Academy, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating the opening of Civitas Academy. The new school marks the start of an exciting future for our pupils. Everything we do is about creating an aspirational and ambitious environment that will help every single one of our children to become the very best version of themselves. A huge thank you to Reading Council; it's been a successful partnership working on this project together, and to everyone who has brought the vision of Civitas to life."
Councillor Tony Jones, Reading's Lead Member for Education, said: "This new primary school offers a tremendous modern environment for local young people to learn, develop and play. I would like to congratulate everybody involved in this project which will benefit local families and the wider community by providing new improved facilities and green space. I wish the Headteacher, staff and pupils every success for the future."
"The opening of Civitas Academy marks the completion of the council's £61 million school expansion programme which has provided more than 2,500 desperately needed school places. This hugely successful programme has involved officers from different councils working with several partners in co-operation with schools and their local communities. Their hard work and commitment will ensure we have sufficient good quality, modern classes and facilities for our children to learn in for years to come."