A school has celebrated moving into its brand new £35 million building.
Staff, students and families came together for the grand opening of Stone Lodge School in Dartford at a ceremony held earlier this month.
The mixed Academy opened its doors to its first cohort of pupils shortly before the pandemic. They were previously taught in temporary facilities ahead of the opening of its new building.
Facilities include specialist science and engineering classrooms, a new drama studio, canteen and a separate sports block with outside pitches.
The project was signed off by Dartford council in 2018 which made the land available for use by the new school.
During the opening event, which took place on June 7, some students sang and danced on the stage, whilst others helped to welcome visitors and show them around the new building.
Headteacher Gavin Barnett said: "We have eagerly anticipated moving into our new building and the endless opportunities for enhanced learning it will provide.
"But, as amazing as our new building is, it is our school community with its strong sense of identity and aspiration for the future that holds the greatest value – it’s what defines and unites us and I am incredibly proud to be the headteacher of Stone Lodge."
Students were equally excited to see and use the new building. Enoch, a year 9 pupil said: "The sports facilities are so much better in our new building.
"We can do extra sports like table tennis, basketball and trampolining now and we’ve got loads of after school clubs."
Dartford MP Gareth Johnson, who also attended the opening, added: "It was great to see the new building now in use with some fantastic facilities for the students.
"It was also good to talk to some of the students I met on my last visit.
"They are really happy with their new school and clearly feel there are some fantastic opportunities for the students who secure a place. During my visit, I saw performances from some really talented students.
"This school is a huge asset for our town and seems to bring out the best in every child. I look forward to seeing it grow."
Since opening in September 2019 Stone Lodge has fast become one of the the most oversubscribed non-selectives in the Dartford area.
The new school is built on the site of former Stone Lodge Farm, near to the new Dartford Rugby Club, and has capacity for around 1,600 pupils.