CHILDREN at Upton Junior School have celebrated the opening of two new classrooms - replacing two dilapidated "temporary" classrooms which were in place for 20 years.

After struggling with maintenance issues including leaking roofs and windows which wouldn't open, the school finally has purpose built new buildings, which were championed by school governor Chris Ryan.

He told the Echo: "I appealed to the council who responded that the building had been surveyed in 2013 and passed as in good condition.

"I then commissioned my own survey with accompanying photographs and wrote a report to DCC on behalf of the governors evidencing the condition.

"This led to a re-inspection by their property services department who agreed that the building had reached the end of its life.

"The next challenge was to get Dorset County Council to agree to a replacement and this took a lot of effort and meetings with Jacqui Leaton and the efforts of the local councillors, who petitioned on our behalf.

"We decided to relocate the building to create more car parking space and a clear boundary to keep the children away from the traffic, however the cost of all this was significant and it took until Easter for DCC to agree the expenditure.

"The old building was demolished and the new one put in during June/July and the rest of the works were completed during the summer break.

"We're all very pleased with the new facilities and the first impression of anyone approaching the school is much better."

A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: “Dorset County Council and representatives from Upton Junior School discussed options to enlarge classrooms using the existing building.

“Through these discussions, it was found the classrooms were in a generally poor condition. This meant we could give consideration to the possibility of replacing the building in a different part of the school and reconfigure the staff parking and entrance to the school at the same time.”