A GLIMPSE of the future of education can be seen in the new south building at Ramsey Grammar School.
Chairman of governors Hazel Bradley said head teacher David Trace had been enthusiastic and even aggressive in his calls for the 6.48 million development, which replaces the former Medway Block.
'This is a community school, for the community, caring for it and catering for it without bias,' she said. 'Excellent education for all is the ethos of the school and it will now provide it in an excellent setting.'
Mrs Bradley said it was appropriate that Education Minister Anne Craine, the town's MHK and a former head girl and school governor, opened the new building.
As an old scholar, Mrs Craine was proud to take part in the ceremony, which included music from the school's brass group, a performance of an excerpt from Arthur Miller's The Crucible and a dedication by Archdeacon Brian Smith.
Mr Trace explained that architect Savage and Chadwick designed the new building in consultation with staff and students.
He said the partnership with the design team was quite special, with links between the school and the community.
'We in government are part of the service industry, and none more so than in education,' Mrs Craine said.
'We are here to serve the needs of the young people of the future, to equip them with the tools to create a caring, respectful, hard-working ethos for their lives ahead.
'Ramsey Grammar School has long played a role in a caring community for this Island.'
The new building houses a dedicated sixth-form centre, special needs facilities, including a multi-sensory room, an art area that comprises three teaching areas and includes a kiln, four social sciences rooms, design technology areas, including a new machine for engraving, and increased food technology facilities.
It also includes new rural, agriculture and environmental science rooms and even a new pig shed, home to 14 piglets.
'We do take a pride, today, rightly so, in what has been achieved here,' Mrs Craine said.
'Government investment has been turned into a living, breathing school, the buildings, the bricks and mortar, the efforts of so many are now complete and the students who are the school, have given it life.'
Officially opening the building, Mrs Craine said: 'May teaching excel, students thrive, and memories that will endure a lifetime be created.'
A grammar school has existed in Ramsey since 1681.
From 1933 the school was housed in Lezayre Road, in what is now the east building.
Almost complete in 1939, the school was requisitioned by the RAF for the war effort.
In 1946 RGS opened on a non-selective basis with 460 pupils on its register.
Fifty years later the roll call had risen by 200 and over the past 10 years the school has grown from 660 to 1,060 students with 140 teaching and support staff.