For the first time in the 150-year history of West Buckland School, more than 700 pupils, staff and guests gathered under one roof as Olympic gold-medallist and ex-pupil Jonathan Edwards opened its new sports hall. The £2 million Jonathan Edwards Sports C

For the first time in the 150-year history of West Buckland School, more than 700 pupils, staff and guests gathered under one roof as Olympic gold-medallist and ex-pupil Jonathan Edwards opened its new sports hall.The £2 million Jonathan Edwards Sports Centre has taken less than 18 months to build.Its facilities include four badminton courts, a state of the art fitness room, two classrooms, a club/conference centre, medical treatment room and a spectator gallery.Jonathan said: "It is overwhelming to walk around the corner from the old sports hall and see the new one. It looks part of the school and just fits in perfectly with the scenery. I feel very unworthy having my name on it." Jonathan's world record triple jump of 18.29m (60ft) is marked out at the centre's entrance and, although the new facilities will benefit current and future students, he does not believe his time there could have been improved. He said: "It would have been great to have it but I had the perfect education here, and I do not think this building would have made a difference because it is not about the facilities it is about the people." The new centre has a lot more facilities than the old one and Jonathan's ex-PE teacher Laurence Whittle-Williams who retires at the end of this school-term believes it will be hard to use them all.He said: "I think it is actually going to make the P.E teachers work harder than they already do for everyone to get the full use of the facilities available." The new sports hall will also be used by the local community and is included in the London 2012 official pre-Olympic Games training camp guide. Headmaster John Vick said: "We are all very proud of the centre and I think the children understand the value of what they have here and they are not taking it for granted." The building project, which began in March 2007 was financed from school funds, a donation from the West Buckland School Foundation and a loan from Clydesdale Bank. West Buckland School will now begin work on a new art and design technology building as it continues to develop for the future.