Leeds & West Yorkshire

Carleton Community High School officially reopens

A West Yorkshire school devastated by an arson attack four years ago is to officially open its new buildings.

The fire at Carleton Community High School in Pontefract in October 2008 destroyed almost half of the site.

Various venues and schools were used before temporary accommodation arrived at the school in January 2009. Building work started in 2011.

The school's assistant head teacher David Jones said: "The community of Pontefract looked after its own."

Mr Jones said the experience had actually helped to pull the school together.

Image caption Mr Jones said: "The community of Pontefract looked after its own"

"There has never been any evidence in our results that pupils were disadvantaged by the fire," he added.

About 150 firefighters tackled the blaze, which broke out in the early hours of 18 October 2008.

The school has almost 1,000 pupils and in the immediate aftermath of the fire teaching was carried out at a community centre, sports centre, Pontefract Racecourse and The King's School in Pontefract.

Building work started in the spring of 2011 with landscaping at the front of the school and tennis courts and a cricket square being reinstated.

The new school buildings include classrooms, a library, gym, sports changing rooms and a theatre.

The buildings will be opened by Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council.

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