Alex James Opens New Building


Alex James, perhaps best known as Blur’s bassist, was welcomed back to his old school today.

The former Bournemouth School student opened a new block, comprising extended dining facilities, additional classrooms and a sixth form study centre. Much of the funding for the new block was provided by the government through the Selective Schools Expansion Fund. The extended accommodation has enabled the school to increase the numbers joining the school in Year 7 from 150 to 180, with the majority of students living in the local area. By next September, the school will be at full capacity in Years 7 to 11.

Before the official opening, Alex worked with music students and had the opportunity to tour the whole school site. As a surprise for their guest, the school arranged for Alex to have lunch with a number of his year group, so that they could share their recollections of attending the school in the 1980s.

Headteacher, Dr Dorian Lewis, commented:

“We were so pleased that Alex was able to be with us today, and that he and others from his year group have been able to see how the school has changed over the last 35 or so years. This new block represents the most significant investment in the school since the late 1960s, and will be enjoyed by our students for many years to come. At last we are able to offer the modern facilities that our students deserve.”

The project was led by the school’s business manager, Julie Wheatley, working with Ringwood-based project management company Kendall Kingscott. The main contractor was LSP Projects, based in Eastleigh. The total project cost was £4.5m, £3.9m of which was secured through the Selective Schools Expansion Fund, with the school contributing the remainder from its reserves to enable the sixth form provision to be included.