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The centre, which is funded by North Yorkshire County Council, will include new study space, seminar rooms, common room, and careers provision.
County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Schools, said:
We are delighted to start work on this important centre for the school. King James is a very good school which has high aspirations for its students and this new centre will be a wonderful teaching and learning space that is entirely fit for purpose.
The new centre will be sited in the car park behind the existing sixth-form building, which will continue to be used until the centre is completed next year. The old building, which has reached the end of its life, will then be demolished. Two adjacent temporary classrooms will also be removed from the site.
New car parking spaces will be provided, and new pull-in bays will create better access for school buses, alleviating pressure on King James Road.
Headteacher Carl Sugden said:
King James’s School Sixth Form has delivered excellent A Level results for students for many years, regularly placing us in the top 20 per cent of A Level providers in the country. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring the accommodation for the Sixth Form up to the high standards of the teaching. The students will benefit massively from the high-quality facilities and, as we extend our Sixth Form partnership with Boroughbridge High School, it will provide additional capacity.
The scheme has been designed by Align Property Partners. Simpson (York) Limited is the principal contractor for the work.