WORK has started on modernising Sandhurst Community School, which was built almost 33 years ago.

The main library and careers area is being completely refurbished, and a new classroom is being built for community use.

A new reception area is also being constructed to serve the main school hall and adult education centre.

The £400,000 scheme has been planned for two years and should be finished in time for the start of the autumn term.

Headmaster Andrew Fletcher said: "The project will inevitably cause some disruption, but the long term benefits will be immense."

In addition he is seeking support for his dream of transforming the main hall into a first class facility for use by both the school and the community.

The proposed scheme would involve extending the hall and installing a new stage area and lighting rig.

He was certain such a facility would be well used by residents' groups for concerts, public meetings and similar events.

"The school would also benefit greatly from having a more modern hall," said Mr Fletcher.

He estimates that the project would cost in the region of £250,000. If the idea gets public backing, then he will launch a fund raising campaign.

Mr Fletcher also hopes that the national lottery might be willing to foot part of the bill.

"My aim is to modernise the facilities and to make it an attractive environment, so that the youngsters can take pride in their surroundings," he added.