STUDENTS from Commonweal School were last night given their first opportunity to see the inside of the school’s new sixthform centre,  due to open in September.
Construction has entered its final stages and the building is on course to welcome 150 sixthform students when the next academic year begins.
Yesterday an open day was held for some of next year’s intake, giving them the chance to see their new learning environment.
Work began on the building last September and everything has gone to plan, so it is expected staff will be able to move in in July.
James Matcham, the head of sixthform, said: “It has been very exciting to watch the building coming up from scratch to what we have today.
“Tuesday is the first opportunity for pupils, staff and parents to have a look at these fantastic facilities.
“The construction has run very smoothly with everything going to plan so we are obviously very pleased with that.
”Some of the students we have at Commonweal will be moving straight up and they have been taking a great interest in all that has been going on.”
The main building was constructed in Northern Ireland before being shipped over and taken by lorry to its new home in Old Town.
When completed it will have a cafe area, an aquarium and a 300-seater auditorium.
On top of that, it will have the ability to project four-metre images of work pupils have completed on to the walls of the building.
The centre will cater for 300 students, with 150 starting in September.
With the school aiming to provide a top standard of education, the demand for places has been high.
James said: “We have already had applications from more than 150 students, although there are a limited number of places left if people want to apply.
“The demand has been very encouraging.
“We have also taken on more than ten extra staff who have sixthform experience, to complement the experience we already have here.
“I first started here in September and it has involved a lot of hard work from people but it has also been very exciting.
“When it is all open I think it will benefit not only Commonweal but also the whole of Swindon.”
For more information about the sixth form or how to apply for the limited places then visit www.commonwealsixth.