In Budds Lane, Bordon, leading figures marked the first phase of building work on the new Mill Chase Academy school facilities, with a formal sod cutting ceremony on the new school site

Equipped with spades fit to perform the task, were: Hampshire County Council’s Leader, Councillor Roy Perry, Mike Green Director of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Sue Samson, Chief Executive of the University of Chichester Academy Trust and Mill Chase Principal, Paul Hemmings. They were joined by Mill Chase Academy Head Boy, Jordan Kelly and Head Girl, Emily Morgan. 

Councillor Perry led the proceedings, commenting: “Hampshire County Council has been pleased to play a significant and important part in the regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon. All along, we have recognised that a new school building, with all the potential that brings, would be pivotal to the quality and success of the whole development. 

“We want this school to be a success, just as we are committed to helping Whitehill and Bordon be a success. I wish all those who will ultimately work and study in this new school the very best for a bright future.” 

On behalf of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Mike Green thanked all those responsible for getting the project off the ground and said: “We are very pleased to be a part of this scheme, working in conjunction with Hampshire County Council and the University of Chichester Academy Trust.” 

Sue Samson added: “This is another important milestone on the journey for Mill Chase Academy to be an exceptional school in state of the art buildings. It has been a privilege to work with the County Council’s Design Team who have been amazing, taking on board the ideas of pupils, staff, and parents and including them in the plans for the new school building. This will be a school for the entire community and a legacy for future generations.” 

“It is so exciting to be on site and to see work is starting on our new school buildings,” added Paul Hemmings. He continued: “High quality outcomes are rapidly improving for the children of our town. Last year we were in the top ten per cent of Hampshire secondary schools for students achieving the Government’s Basics measure. In eighteen months’ time we will have a fantastic educational resource and impressive learning environment for the town’s students which will allow us to raise standards even further.” 

As well as a broad and diverse range of teaching and learning spaces, the new school will incorporate improved sports facilities: including a flood-lit, all weather pitch and six indoor badminton courts. 

Completion is due in summer 2019 to allow the Mill Chase Academy to move to its new home in time for the start of the academic year in the autumn term.