A COUNCILLOR has heaped praise on one of the district’s new high schools.

Speaking at last week’s meeting of Ponteland Town Council, Coun. Richard Dodd, who represents Ponteland North, was full of praise for the town’s new £43m school and leisure centre complex.

Once finished, the state-of-the-art development will feature a 1,600 pupil secondary school, a 420-pupil primary school, a 52-place nursery, a leisure centre and pool, a library and a cafe.

The leisure centre will also feature a spa, gym, soft play, and a climbing activity centre.

Coun. Dodd hoped the community would be able to see and appreciate the new building.

He said: “I’ve been in the new high school, and I’ve got some wonderful pictures.

“It’s an awful lot more than a school. Some of the spaces are huge – it’s massive and the pool is very deep.

“It’s going to be really state-of-the-art. I’m pushing them to have a public open day because we get the keys in about mid-July, and I think get a few days before the schools move their stuff in.

“I want them to show it off to the public, because the vast majority won’t get a look otherwise.”

The council backed Coun. Dodd’s plan, and praised the team behind the complex’s construction for their work.

Coun. Adam Shanley said: “I would support that. If you’re a member of the public without children you’re still paying for it.”

Coun. Christine Greenwell added: “I’m amazed with all the bad weather we’ve had they’ve not been held back. They’ve done really well.”

The final bolts on the school’s steel frame were ceremonially tightened in October, and the schools are set to open this year.