Chequered flag for school’s new hall
School’s new sports hall to benefit pupils and the community
IT MAY have been opened by a former Formula One racing driver, but getting a school’s new sports hall to the finish line has been no quick task.
After 15 years of negotiations and dead ends, the Norton Knatchbull School this week opened its sparkling new Fraser Building.
The official opening fell to former world champion Damon Hill OBE who also spoke to the boys about his career.
As well as having four badminton courts and facilities for volleyball and five-a-side football, the complex also houses a drama studio, sixth form centre, main hall and fitness room.
The building is named after the architect who designed it, Richard Fraser, whose three sons attended the school.
He was among the staff and friends of the school who came together at Tuesday’s opening ceremony.
Head teacher John Speller said: “The project has been going for 15 years and we have had lots of dead ends. We wouldn’t have been able to bring it to fruition without Mr Fraser and our deputy head teacher Paul Curtis.
“The new building will hugely enhance the opportunities for the students.
“The school desperately needed a drama studio because of the high-quality drama being produced here and it desperately needed a sixth form centre because of expanding numbers.
“The students have been bowled over by it and it will also be available for use by the community.”
Mr Hill is no stranger to the school. He spent much of his childhood in the area and at his family’s weekend cottage in Sellindge.
His family also had close links with the Brabourne family who are affiliated with the school.
Mr Hill said: “I am a great believer in sport as a way of individuals discovering themselves and I believe keeping fit affects the way you think so I am very happy to have opened the new facility.”
Formula One world champion Damon Hill unveils the plaque for the new sports hall at Norton Knatchbull School watched by Richard Fraser, head teacher John Speller and chairman of governors Jill Humphreys