A storyteller opened a library designed to fire up young readers’ imaginations at Holy Trinity School, Calne, last week.
Rod Burnett, who runs a touring puppet theatre, has visited the school for the past 20 years and treated pupils to several tales on the day.
The library, which contains a secret door, a specially commissioned grandfather clock and flying carpets on the floor, was built to inspire pupils to read and allows them to pick out a book at any time.
Plans for the renovation were announced in September 2011 after an autism centre closed at the school. The final result brings together the skills of local firms and craftsmen, many of whom are parents or past pupils.
These included Calne Antiques, Devizes Reclamation, stone mason Geoffrey Stephenson and electrician Stephen Biffen.
The Friends of Holy Trinity Academy also donated £5,000 after 18 months of fundraising.
Local artist John Simpson, whose mother was a governor for the school, was asked to paint the walls with scenes from children’s books and a dragon on the ceiling.
Headteacher Steve Heal said the library designs had been inspired by children’s books, including How To Live Forever by Colin Thompson, which is set in a museum full of weird and wonderful exhibits.
Mr Heal said: “John has really enjoyed the project because he’s been allowed to do his own thing and it’s his skill that has drawn all the elements in the room together.
“It’s about inspiring pupils to read and firing their imagination, which is what books do, and it’s about filling their heads with ideas so they can write imaginatively as well.”
In the future the school hopes to find a stained glass artist who can work with the children to create designs for the library windows, as well as to renovate the fireplace so they can have a real fire there.
Deputy head teacher Graham Shore is in charge of stocking the library and parents are being invited to donate a copy of a book that they loved as a child.
Head teacher Mr Heal said: “The room will never be finished, great works never are. We want it to be the sort of room where the more you look the more you see. I hope that our reception children will still be discovering new things in the room by Year 6.”