BBC ANCHORMAN Michael Buerk revisited Solihull School this month to open the new £4.5 million sixth form centre at his old school.
Mr Buerk, who is president of the school’s debating society, unveiled the plaque on Thursday (November 12) in front of VIP guests, staff and pupils.
The occasion was also marked with the unveiling of a sculpture by Matthew Sanderson.
The four-floor building includes teaching rooms and private study areas incorporating the latest multimedia technology, with the top floor providing open-plan space for teaching, examinations and social events, along with an external terrace garden with panoramic views.
The centre is named Cooper Building, in memory of the headmaster Rev Cooper who led the school during the First World War.
Headmaster David Lloyd said: “If we are to remain a centre of excellence in the region, we must ensure that our facilities are able to support our talent of today and tomorrow. Our new centre will reinforce our standing as one of the Midlands’ leading independent schools.
“We have created a centre which will drive us into the future; a building that successfully combines teaching space with private study and IT facilities, as well as social areas, dining facilities and exhibition space.
“One of Solihull School’s greatest successes is its sixth form.
“Demand for places has never been higher and examination results are outstanding.
“The demands of the 21st century global society on our young people have never been greater than today. Students need to develop the skills of independent thinking and learning during their brief time in the sixth form, to enable them to make the transition from school to university life – and then beyond into their career.”
Solihull, an independent co-educational school for girls and boys aged seven to 18 year, was recently ranked the top independent school in the West Midlands for A2 and AS results and all Oxbridge candidates met or surpassed their required grades.
The school was founded in 1560 and has occupied its current site since 1882.
Developments carried out over recent years include the David Turnbull Music School, the George Hill Building with its new classrooms and the Alan Lee Pavilion.