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Harpenden school celebrates reopening of historic entrance

PUBLISHED: 14:55 26 July 2019

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new entrance to St Nicholas CE VA Primary School. Picture: Submitted by St Nicholas CE VA Primary School

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new entrance to St Nicholas CE VA Primary School. Picture: Submitted by St Nicholas CE VA Primary School

Archant

A Harpenden primary school celebrated the official opening of its new entrance last week.

The new St Nicholas CE VA Primary School entryway was opened on July 19 at a ribbon cutting event attended by politicians, children, staff, and governors.

When the school was founded at the Church Green site just over 160 years ago, the main entrance was situated on Rothamsted Avenue.

At some point the entrance moved to opposite St Nicholas Church and the former doorway became an office fire door.

Over the years, it became clear that there were issues associated with the new entrance - it was difficult to find and only a single door.

With funding from the Diocese of St Albans, The Harpenden Trust and Allchurches Trust, the original entrance has been restored and reopened - and the other doorway will now be used for deliveries.

Hitchin and Harpenden MP Bim Afolami attended the opening ceremony, and fielded questions from pupils about Brexit, football, and his school years in a special Question Time assembly.

He said: "Education is all about opening doors to opportunity, so today's event at St Nicholas school was significant both literally and metaphorically.

"The questions from the children were insightful and well informed - they certainly prepared me for returning to the House of Commons next week."

Deputy town mayor and former chair of governors at St Nicholas, Nicola Linacre, also attended, along with representatives from The Harpenden Trust.

Current chair of governors, Caroline Fleming, said: "Academically St Nicholas School is already one of the best performing primary schools in the country and the work we have been carrying out on the buildings over the last 12 months mean that our facilities are rapidly catching up with our educational achievements.

"Our new entrance means that visitors to the school - be that parents, guests or the many community groups and others who rent our facilities - now receive the best impression of our school from the second they arrive."

The ribbon was cut by Gill Hill, who retired from the Governing Body in 2018 after 40 years service.

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