A £3.2 million extension at Ballakermeen High School has been officially opened.
Education chiefs say the three-storey addition provides badly needed learning, examination and dining space in a school that offers the widest range of post-16 exam subjects and, with nearly 300 students, has the island’s largest sixth form.
Previously, sixth form accommodation was cramped while exams took over the school’s hall, sports hall, gym and drama spaces, curtailing normal activities.
The dining room, which seated 300, was inadequate for a school of almost 1,500 pupils, leading to rushed sittings and encouraging students to go off-site, where they consumed less nutritious meals.
Head teacher Adrienne Burnett explained: ‘The extension provides a modern, bright and airy environment in which sixth form students can learn in large or small groups, study as individuals and socialise.
‘It has been designed with flexibility in mind, so rooms can be made bigger or sectioned off according to need.
‘Coupled with having twice the previous space for dining, this is a much-needed and very welcome addition to our school.’
Education Minister Tim Crookall formally opened the extension on Friday.
He said: ‘Investment in young people is investment in the Isle of Man’s economy as a whole.
‘I am delighted we have been able to work within a restricted site in the heart of Douglas to create facilities that will enhance learning for generations of students.’