Monday, January 13 was the first day back for the students of Daventry University Technical College, and their first day in the new building.
The UTC off Ashby Road in town officially opened and has been hailed by those involved as a top quality educational establishment.
UTC principal, David Edmondson, said: “It is very exciting, it’s the culmination of a long journey.
“I’ve been here so often throughout the building process, but what has really amazed me is the finish and the level of detail.
“We’re fully accessible to disabled people. Every classroom has a desk that can be lowered in height if needed, they all have induction loops for hearing aids and there’s a lift.
“The students’ toilets are all individual ones, which meets Ofsted recommendations. And there’s things I’m still learning too. To me, it’s breathtaking.”
UTCs are a new type of school for pupils aged 14 to 19. They are led by a university and promote both academic and more practical learning. Daventry UTC has a specialism in engineering, construction and environmental sustainability. At the moment there are 97 students, but it will eventually take 600.
The college building was delayed, meaning students spent their first term learning at the University of Northampton.
Mr Edmondson said: “The delay wasn’t a setback and we had excellent facilities at the university. But for me it was more important to get the building finished to the right standard rather than rush to get it open in September.
“We’ve still got a few things left to do. The landscaping is the main one, but we can’t plant or turf anything until March.”