Three international sports stars will help to officially open the £3.35m expansion of a Nottingham primary school this week.
Great Britain gymnast Ellie Downie, former world champion boxer Jawaid Khaliq and ex-England footballer Jermaine Jenas – who all hail from the city – will visit Mellers Primary in Radford on Thursday 16 November.
Work on the Radford school, a City Council project undertaken by contractor Wates Construction, started in September 2016 and has seen the number of places increase from 210 to 420 to meet increasing demand in the area. Work included eight new classrooms and a hall, and expanding the nursery from 26 to 52 places. The project was finished last month.
The expansion of Mellers Primary School comes under Nottingham City Council’s wider £41.9 million expansion plan to create thousands of school places across the city.
Other primary schools that have expanded recently are Fernwood in Wollaton, Bluecoat in Bilborough, South Wilford in Wilford, Whitegate in Clifton and Nottingham Academy.
The official opening will kick off with welcome speeches from headteacher Amanda Dawson and Ellie Downie. Jawaid Khaliq will also make a speech and the building will be officially opened by Jermaine Jenas, who started his career with Nottingham Forest in 2001 before returning briefly in 2012. He now regularly appears on Match of the Day and Five Live as a football summariser.
Highlights will also include musical performances from both staff and pupils, memories from former pupils, and ribbon cutting.
Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills at the City Council, said: “We are delighted that the work at Mellers Primary School has been completed, marking another exciting step in our school expansion programme. We are investing in our schools because we know there is a demand for places and parents want their children to go to an Ofsted-rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ school. Families in Nottingham want good schools, with places available, close to home.
“Our careful planning and continued investment means that we have enough primary school places to meet the current and future demand. This year we were able to offer every Nottingham child a school place, with nearly 95% of children being offered a place at their first or second-choice primary school – that is up 2% on last year.
“It’s fantastic that the opening event this week is being attended by such prestigious guests. Ellie, Jawaid and Jermaine all began life in Nottingham and are fantastic role models for our pupils.”
Amanda Dawson, Headteacher at Mellers Primary School, said: “This is such an exciting time for us as a school and as a community. At Mellers, we have high expectations and we are aspirational for our community members. We want all of our pupils to be the best that they can be, and with our fabulous new school building, we can deliver that promise even more effectively.
“Mellers is an extremely popular school in the area and we are very heavily oversubscribed, which means that each year many of our parents and families are disappointed as they don’t get the school place they wanted at Mellers. We’re very pleased to now be able to offer double the number of school places, as this will enable our parents’ school choices to be accommodated.”