Construction of the building begins from next Monday (October, 15) behind the school’s current sixth-form centre - which will remain in use until the work is be completed.
This is expected to take until 2019, in time for the arrival of the school’s new sixth formers. The old building, which is said to have ‘reached the end of its life’ will then be demolished.
Headteacher of King James’s School, Carl Sugden, said that after another year of strong GCSE and A-level results at the school that it was an important set of improvements.
He said: “It is good to see the work beginning, especially after another great year of results, with these new facilities maybe we can see these results improved even further.
“At the moment the study space students have is not sufficient. But the key thing this building will bring is its the design and layout, and what that will bring is much more flexibility and space to help us grow.”
He added: “I have been here for 11 years and I have spent that time to campaign and find a way to get this building. “We have done many projects over the years but the one we aspired is now here, and personally I am really delighted.”
The increased capacity for the school offers two key opportunities for school. The partnership the school currently has with Boroughbridge High School, with sixth form students studying some of their subjects between the two schools, could be expanded.
With close to 250 students currently studying at King James’s the new building could see this number grow to 300. With larger numbers of students at the school it could mean more courses being offered, says Mr Sugden. Some courses, including languages, music technology and computer science, which currently take smaller numbers of pupils could also grow with a larger uptake.
North Yorkshire County Council, who funded the project, say it will include new study space, seminar rooms, common room, and careers provision. New car parking spaces will be provided, alongside pull-in bays to create better access for school buses which will help alleviate traffic on King James Road.