A DEVIZES primary school is celebrating news that it can build a new assembly hall that will be used by the community as well as pupils.

At the moment Wansdyke Primary, which was built in the 1970s, has a hall situated within the middle of the school with no internal walkways around it so children and staff trying to reach classrooms and a dining area have to walk through the hall even if it is being used for PE or other lessons.

But now Wiltshire Council has given permission for a new larger hall to be built on land next to the school.

Agents for the school pointed out to the council that the existing hall is far too small for its numbers of pupils. A report by the Hookway Partnership said: "The fact that Wansdyke School has 230 children in nine classrooms emphasises the fact that the existing assembly hall is in the order of 40 per cent below what it should be.

"It follows that it is virtually impossible to hold whole school assemblies or to put on school plays as the hall is simply not big enough.

"It has become increasingly apparent, however, that the size of the existing assembly hall is no longer sufficient, or even adequate, for the numbers of children now attending at the school. Although there are now enough classrooms and ancillary accommodation for 230 or so children, the

assembly hall is the same one the school started out which, inevitably perhaps, is no longer big enough for the whole school to be gathered together for communal events or activities that also form an essential part of the school’s character and appeal."

The report also highlighted that the school wants to allow community use of the new building. It said: "As a state-funded school, the Governors are anxious that the new hall should be offered for appropriate community and neighbourhood activities, such as children’s parties, local festivities and

charitable events, at weekends or otherwise out of term time."

The new hall will be built on a playground area next to the kitchens which can be reached by a private driveway from Downlands Road. The report said: "This driveway would not only greatly ease and simplify the initial construction process but would eventually

provide a direct and separate entry to the hall itself without having to gain access out of hours through the main buildings."

The good news on the hall follows the re-opening of the school's library after a major revamp.