A MAJOR school revamp will see 250 new school places created in High Wycombe.

Staff and students at The Highcrest Academy celebrated on Wednesday as their new Sixth Form Centre and Dining Room were unveiled at an official opening ceremony.

The £3.3 million development means hundreds of new school places will be on offer.

High Wycombe mayor Cllr Sarfaraz Khan Raja, a former pupil, was special guest as the school marked the end of a major programme of refurbishment works - which will enable Highcrest to increase its capacity from 830 to 1,080 places over the next three years.

The new sixth form centre has trebled in size over two floors and has been remodelled to provide a modern learning resource centre. The dining room has also trebled in size and given all students and staff a new modern eating area.

Both areas were part of the £3.3 million project at the academy in Hatters Lane carried out by Buckinghamshire County Council using government basic need funding.

The new facilities have freed up space for extra classrooms to accommodate an additional 30 pupils per year group in the main school and have enabled the sixth form to double its numbers.

The project also included a second floor above the front of the sports hall with a new dance studio, fitness room, state of the art gym and a PE theory classroom.

Glen Burke, principal at the academy, said: “I’m delighted the refurbishment work will allow us to accommodate an additional form of entry at Highcrest, that will help us meet the increased demand for places locally.”

He went on to explain the initial impact of the two areas. He said: “We have already started using these new buildings and have noticed the positive impact they are having on our students’ wellbeing.”

Cllr Raja added: “I had great respect for my teachers who taught me, and their efforts brought me to this position of Mayor of High Wycombe.

“It’s great to see the development of Hatters Lane into The Highcrest Academy.

“Seeing the new buildings and the expansion will certainly help the children.”