Che­quered flag for school’s new hall

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Kirsty Parkin

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.”

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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

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