Dorset

Peter Wilson opens Lytchett Minster school arts centre

  • 1 May 2013
  • From the section Dorset
Lytchett Minster Upper School's creative arts block following a fire in December and its new temporary centre
Image caption The new centre includes a 420-seat theatre and a music recording studio

Olympic gold medallist Peter Wilson has officially opened a new facility at a Dorset school - weeks after its arts centre was destroyed by fire.

A blaze gutted the multi-million pound creative arts block at Lytchett Minster Upper School, near Poole, in December.

The new temporary building, which previously formed part of the athletes' village during London 2012, was constructed at the school in 45 days.

Wilson, of Glanvilles Wootton, won the men's double trap final at the Games.

'Olympic legacy'

The temporary centre includes a 420-seat theatre, classrooms, a music recording studio and dance studio.

Wilson said: "It's amazing to think that during London 2012 the world's greatest athletes were dining in this building and now it has been transformed into the most wonderful education facility."

Image caption Dorset-based marksman Peter Wilson won the men's double trap final during London 2012

He added he hoped the building would inspire the pupils who were now working in it.

Headteacher Stuart Clark said the school was keen to recognise the "Olympic legacy aspect" of the project.

The school's permanent creative arts building was destroyed by fire on 27 December when it was hit by lightning.

Since the blaze, one year group per day has had to study at home as there was not enough accommodation for the entire school which has 1,350 pupils, aged 11-18 years.

Drama student Stella Mills, 15, said pupils had been "devastated" by the fire which destroyed all their course work.

Todd Slaughter, 16, who is also studying drama, described the new facility as "brilliant" and said students had been working to raise money towards replacing equipment lost in the fire.

The temporary accommodation is likely to be on site for about two years until a replacement permanent block is built.

The school was also hit by a fire in 2000 which destroyed its hall, maths and science block, and classrooms.

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