A STATE-of-the-art arts centre - seven years in the planning - has been officially opened at St Martin’s School.
The new building boasts a 130 seat theatre with a full lighting and sound system, dance studio and dedicated teaching spaces.
Construction work started last year and on Saturday, parents and guests were invited to a special performance by pupils of all ages.
There was also a visit by ex-pupil Caroline Redman Lusher, who founded Rock Choir - the biggest group of its kind in Britain.
Last week, the Solihull News was invited to take a tour of the facilities, built by Knowle construction company Greswolde.
Simon Brown, bursar at St Martin’s, said: “It’s incredible to see this come to fruition after many years of discussion.
“This area used to be what we call a wasteground where I come from, it’s where we had bonfires and things like that.
“But in a few months a pile of bricks has suddenly become a wonderful theatre. The best thing has been the reaction of the girls though.
“Having it away from the main school also makes a big difference. We can be playing Metallica on the sound system in here and not bother anyone!”
The block is built right next to the 18th century wall that is reputed to be the oldest brickwork in the borough.
But St Martin’s staff say that the building was designed to be sympathetic with the surroundings and would also be available for hire to dance schools and outside groups.
Ross Furby, school governor, said: “St Martin’s has always had a good reputation for teaching the arts but now there will be a focal point for those lessons.”