Hailsham school officially re-opens library after refurbishment

A White House Academy pupil in the refurbished library on World Book Day. Photograph: Justin Lycett
A White House Academy pupil in the refurbished library on World Book Day. Photograph: Justin Lycett

A Hailsham school has officially re-opened its library following a £4,000 refurbishment.

White House Academy welcomed deputy mayor councillor Grant de Jongh to cut a ribbon to formally open the facility last Thursday – World Book Day.

Friends of White House PTA members, from left, Claire Elphick, Laura Martin, Sarah Rimmer and Claire Treves. Photograph: Justin Lycett/ hI06902 (10)

Friends of White House PTA members, from left, Claire Elphick, Laura Martin, Sarah Rimmer and Claire Treves. Photograph: Justin Lycett/ hI06902 (10)

“We thought it was a great chance to have it officially opened,” said secretary of Friends of White House PTA Claire Treves on opening it on the literary celebration.

The PTA applied for funding last year as part of the Tesco Bags for Help scheme. The grant initiative, open to charities and organisations, is voted for by customers in store after a shortlisting process, with the top grant £4,000, second £2,000 and third £1,000.

The Marshfoot Lane school received the top sum at the end of July with most of the refurbishment work carried out in October half term.

Claire says the sum was more than what the PTA had hoped for.

A White House Academy pupil in the refurbished library on World Book Day. Photograph: Justin Lycett/ hI06902 (2)

A White House Academy pupil in the refurbished library on World Book Day. Photograph: Justin Lycett/ hI06902 (2)

“To find out that we’d got the top amount was amazing,” she said.

The library was decorated by Paul Henderson, of Hailsham-based A Brush With Fate, and includes paintings of popular fictional characters. There is also new furniture and a chill-out area.

Students helped to choose the characters that Paul would include.

Claire explained: “Each class came up with a character they would like and he incorporated them into the library, with a few others, to make it more their library, because they had a say in it.”

She said the library is now ‘bright, colourful and inviting’.

“The children love it – they’re using it a lot more," she added.