A NEW special school is set to open its doors next month.

Excitement is building as the countdown begins for the Mountjoy School to a move to a new campus at Beaminster.

Work on the new school has entered the final stages, as it gets ready to open its doors to pupils on November 5.

And a special celebration is planned to mark Mountjoy’s 45 years in Bridport, providing a much-loved base for youngsters with physical and learning disabilities.

Contractor Morgan Sindall has handed over the new building on the Beaminster School campus to Dorset County Council, so that final internal works can take place.

Construction of the building is now complete and projects such as installing telephone and computer systems, assembling specialist facility rooms and external landscaping works are now underway.

The school will move in to its new premises during the October half-term week from October 29 before the first school day the following Monday.

Headteacher at Mountjoy James Franzen, said: “We are privileged to have the opportunity to move into a brand new school in the heart of West Dorset and are looking forward to a very positive future, continuing the great work that we do and expanding our school community by creating new friendships in and around Beaminster.”

Mr Franzen said that Bridport will always be close to the school’s heart.

“We are planning an event to say goodbye to our current building at the end of this half-term and thank everyone who has supported Mountjoy over the years.

“We want to celebrate the happy memories of pupils and staff – past and present – that will always be part of the school.”

In 2010, following discussions with the headteacher and governors at Beaminster School, Dorset County Council agreed to re-locate Mountjoy from Bridport onto the secondary school's site.

The new Mountjoy is built for 48 pupils and is nearly four times bigger than the existing school.

The school will provide state-of-the-art learning facilities for all pupils including a sensory studio, a media studio, a soft play room and a sensory hydrotherapy pool.

Other improvements include a new staff car park, accessed from Tunnel Road, which will reduce the flow of traffic on Fleet Street and an improved footpath linking both schools with the town centre.