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Royalty arrives to open new refectory

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 06, 2012

  • Time for a snack: The Duke of Gloucester speaks to pupils over cake and tea in the new refectory at Pate's Grammar School

  • Sweet treat: The Duke of Gloucester is presented with a cake made by pupils including Memoona Ahmed in the new art studio area

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THE red carpet was rolled out as royalty opened a school's £1.75 million extension.

The Duke of Gloucester cut the ribbon at the new refectory at Pate's Grammar School yesterday.

The extension will increase the dining room seating capacity by 33 per cent. It comes after a new cashless catering technology was launched to allow students to get their lunches quickly.

The building will also include a lecture space, new IT facilities and a flexible learning area.

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The official opening marks the end of a 39-week building project, funded through grants from the government and charities, and donations from parents and alumni.

Headteacher Russel Ellicott said: "I was delighted the Duke agreed to open our building.

"It was a fitting way to celebrate such an important occasion for the school."

The Duke was joined by Cheltenham's Mayor Colin Hay and the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Robert Bernays.

A 60-strong choir was on hand to welcome them and showcase the school's achievements in music and art, before the Duke unveiled a plaque for the new hall. A music competition was organised by the school to choose the fanfare to be played at the unveiling of the plaque.

Wonderful

Mr Ellicott added: "The new refectory is a wonderful facility and has already been used for a range of different events.

"The students are fortunate to have a state of the art building that will enhance their learning and provide a social space that is open throughout the day.

"We are thankful for those involved in the building project, especially Pate's foundation, and all our donors."

Ann Barradell-Black, a parent governor at the school, said: "We're pleased and delighted to have had His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester open our fantastic new Refectory, and to celebrate with all members of the Pate's community".

The Duke also officially opened Cheltenham West Community Fire Station in Tewkesbury Road yesterday afternoon.

Cheltenham West was the first of the four new community fire stations to go operational, opening its doors in April.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Geoff Sallis said the Duke got to see "the benefits of the new facility when responding to emergencies in the county."

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