School hall rises again from ashes

Like the phoenix from the ashes Cuddington and Dinton School’s hall has quite literally risen again after reopening its doors today (Friday).

The junior school hall at Dinton was badly damaged after a fire started by a electrical fault in the kitchen in June 2011. But fast forward two years and headteacher Kim Price has unveiled a brand new building.

Opening of the new school hall at Dinton School

Opening of the new school hall at Dinton School

She said: “It has been really difficult. The reopening was about thanking everyone’s patience, without it we wouldn’t be looking at this beautiful building.”

The school is split over two sites with the junior pupils at Dinton and the infants at Cuddington.

The junior school pupils were pressed into using Cuddington Church, the village hall and crammed into other classrooms while the hall was rebuilt.

Despite the pain of the fire Mrs Price said they seized the opportunity to make a better school hall which could fit all pupils from both sites.

A11 Week 26'MCBH'DP'View, Dinton School - scene of fire

A11 Week 26'MCBH'DP'View, Dinton School - scene of fire

She added: “From something that could have been disastrous we have looked at it as an opportunity and come up with this amazing building.

“It’s very emotional for lots of different people and lots of different reasons.

“I’ve got staff who have been at the school a very long time and never thought they would see this. I did shed a few tears.”

For the headteacher it has been a journey too, with the fire coming at the end of not only her first year in charge but her first headship.

“It has really been a baptism of fire. It’s been a very interesting time for us but lots of very positive things have happened.”

Mrs Price was particularly pleased with the direct involvement students had in the vision of the new hall.

She added: “The children asked for certain things. They wanted it light, bright, airy and spacious. They designed it.”