The Gazette gets a guided tour of the new £19m Ilfracombe Academy building before students move in this week

Ilfracombe Academy students will get to set foot into their brand new £19million school tomorrow (Tuesday).

Completed ahead of schedule by BAM Construction, the new school build continues the transformation of the site following the official opening of the new sports facilities and sixth form centre in May.

Today (Monday) it was a bit hectic as workmen put last minute touches to the building and staff moved in with countless boxes full of educational supplies - a new school had to be equipped in just one day.

Before October half term the students departed the old building for the last time and the keys for the new building were officially handed over on Friday.

Watch our sneak preview tour of the new school

It has 46 classrooms, drama studios, two music rooms, seven music practice rooms and even a recording studio.

The library forms the centre of the school and is overlooked on all sides as people climb up and down the floors.

The new school hall and dining room with tiered seating can accommodate around 450 at a time and it is hoped this will be used for community as well as school events.

The existing art block is currently being renovated and the relatively new existing dining room will be revamped for a new design technology department.

Headteacher Sharon Marshall said: "We are absolutely delighted with this amazing building which is the next step for the community and the education of the children in that community.

The new St Christopher's Hall at the new Ilfracombe Academy. Picture: Tony GussinThe new St Christopher's Hall at the new Ilfracombe Academy. Picture: Tony Gussin

"It has state-of-the-art facilities, beautifully finished, it's light and airy, it's warm, it's weatherproof, it's everything we've asked for.

"The classrooms are all amazing, really big, with new projection and sound facilities, amazing views over the surrounding countryside and really fit for our students to learn in and our teachers to teach in.

"We are really delighted with where the library is in the new building, we wanted learning to be at the heart of the building.

"We are also very pleased with the main school hall, St Christopher's Hall, which we'll be using for assemblies and for lunchtimes. It's at least two of three times the size of our old dining hall, it will accommodate at least twice as many students and it will be a great wet weather space.

"It's a great facility for showing films, for drama productions and I am sure when the community see that they will be as interested in using that part of our building as they have the all-weather pitch and the sports hall."

One of the new Ilfracombe Academy IT suites. Picture: Tony GussinOne of the new Ilfracombe Academy IT suites. Picture: Tony Gussin

The library at the heart of the new Ilfracombe Academy. Picture: Tony GussinThe library at the heart of the new Ilfracombe Academy. Picture: Tony Gussin