A new college for pupils with special educational needs is now just six months away from full completion.

West Sussex County Council is creating the new facilities in at Woodlands Meed in Burgess Hill for 100 children with special educational needs and disabilities.

The roof and concrete structure of the building are now complete, and the latest milestone was celebrated by pupils, staff, governors, county councillors and council staff and representatives from the council’s contractor, ISG, at a special event.

A “topping out” ceremony, which marks completion of the highest point of a building, was held on the new roof on February 22.

The new college building, which was procured through the Southern Construction Framework, is on track for completion this summer. The old college facilities will then be demolished over the summer holiday, enabling Woodlands Meed college students to begin learning in their new facilities from September this year.

Woodlands Meed headteacher Adam Rowland said: “Since the ground-breaking event last year I can’t believe how quickly this has been built, and having it in our backyard, it’s been incredible to see it develop over time. It’s going to make such a huge difference to our pupils to have the provision that will enable them to succeed and flourish in their lives.

“A huge, huge thank you.”

The new college facilities being built include:

  • An outside courtyard and amphitheatre where children can sit together and hold sporting and social events
  • A new hydrotherapy pool
  • More internal space in 12 new classrooms and specialist learning areas for music, sciences and food technology
  • High quality sporting facilities including all weather pitches, and a two-court sports hall and accessible changing facilities
  • A large dining hall and kitchen, common room and a range of therapy spaces
  • New outside learning and play areas including classrooms, an outside gym and gardening areas
  • Solar panels on the roof making the facilities energy efficient, reducing energy costs and the college’s carbon footprint.

College pupils and teachers marked the occasion by permanently signing their names and personal messages in the new roof structure. The small number of invited guests were then given tour of the inside of the new building.