The start of King’s High School’s move to its new location next to Warwick School officially began with a special ‘ground-breaking’ ceremony.
Pupils from King’s High, Warwick School, and Warwick Prepatory School all met outside the Bridge House Sports Centre off Myton Road on Monday July 10 to see the ceremony take place.
And young and old each dug out a portion of the ground to mark the start of the £30 million project.
The youngest girl in reception class of Warwick Prepatory School, Millie Rogan, made the first cut in the ground.
She was followed by Raphael de Passemar of Warwick Junior School, then Alexandra Solt, the new head girl at King’s High, and Tom Fawcett, the new head boy at Warwick School.
The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Timothy Cox dug out the final chunk to complete the ceremony.
Before the ceremony, president of the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation David Stevens said the move was ‘an exciting time.’
The headmaster of King’s High, Richard Nicholson, then said: “Today marks a very special milestone. Over the next few years, we will see the building of a remarkable new school.
“The enormity of this project should not be underestimated, as it is more than just bricks and mortar.
“It began as the most egalitarian of ideas - to build on our strengths and provide for our girls a school worthy of their skills, talents and expertise.
“This project is the key which will unlock the unrealised potential for our schools.”
And the headmaster of Warwick School, Gus Locke, said the move was just another example of the schools ‘evolving’.
He added: “Our schools all have long and proud traditions, but being old doesn’t mean one is somehow unchanging.
“We have evolved, and we will continue to evolve. If we are to remain stronger, and if we are to grow even stronger, we must adapt to new opportunities.
“This new project will open a new era in the history of our schools. We have a very, very bright future together.”
The £30 million campus will include a new main school building, a new shared music building, a new sixth form centre and new and improved sports pitches – including 4G and all-weather surfaces.
The foundation has also said in its plans that it intends to increase parking on the site by 104 spaces.
The move was given the go-ahead by Warwick District Council’s planning committee back in April, on the condition the school contributes £50,000 to improve the roads in the vicinity.
Although the move was supported, councillors expressed concerns over the likely increase in traffic.
Cllr Tony Heath said: “That road is difficult as it is and it’s going to be horrendous when this happens. I can’t see it changing with £50,000.”
It is hoped the buildings will be finished in 2019 and 2020.