Clare Balding opens Newmarket Academy's state-of-the art new library
A state-of-the art new library, housing 20,000 books, was officially opened at Newmarket Academy on Tuesday by broadcaster and best-selling author Clare Balding.
The new building has been funded by Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, the founder of the Godolphin horseracing and breeding empire.
Ms Balding was the guest of honour at a special morning of literary-inspired events attended by academy students, pupils from local primary schools and dignitaries.
She spoke to the pupils about their love of reading before unveiling a plaque to open the new facility. “I was delighted to open this new library at Newmarket Academy,” she said.
“I love going to schools and it was so uplifting to hear the pupils talk about why they love reading.
“It is impressive to have some 20,000 books but there is also some fantastic natural light, break-out areas and spaces to read in private.”
Designed by Wincer Kievenaar Architects, and built by SEH French, the new building constructed of steel and glass has an open ground floor which will form an outdoor classroom for use in ecology and practical sessions and as a social area.
The second and third storeys are open plan giving a sense of light and space and providing adaptable accommodation for seminars and conferences.
“This library is an incredible community asset for our students as well as local primary schools,” said academy headteacher Nick Froy.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without the generous donation from Godolphin, who have been such strong supporters of the academy and local education.
“We would also like to thank Clare Balding and the hard work of all our staff, especially our librarian Nikki Johnston.”
Prior to the official opening, literacy-based competitions were held with Wickhambrook Primary Academy winning Newmarket Academy’s annual literacy competition.
Other pupils attending included those from Houldsworth Valley, Paddocks, Laureate, Moulton, Cheveley, and Exning.
More by this authorAlison Hayes