Work has started on a new £4.5 million sixth form centre for the independent Solihull School.
Kingswinford-based contractor Speller Metcalfe is leading the project and joined headmaster David Lloyd and other members of the development team at a sod-cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction.
The four-floor building, in Warwick Road, is due to be completed by September 2015 and will include teaching rooms and private study areas incorporating the latest multimedia technology.
The top floor will provide open-plan space for teaching, examinations and social events, along with an external terrace garden with panoramic views.
It will have high levels of natural light and ventilation, low energy lighting and an energy efficient heating system.
The new sixth form centre is being built on vacant land previously occupied by the old Gymnasium and will be surrounded by the Bushell Hall, mathematics and science departments and the sports hall.
The project has been designed by Birmingham architects Malcolm Payne Group and costed by the Birmingham office of quantity surveyors Rider Levett Bucknall which is also acting as employer agent.
The school was founded in 1560 and has occupied its current site since 1882. Developments carried out over recent years include David Turnbull Music School, the George Hill Building with its new classrooms and the Alan Lee Pavilion.
Des O'Neill, divisional manager at Speller Metcalfe, said: "This is a fantastic project which highlights the commitment of Solihull School and its staff to give students the best education possible.
"The project will not only provide state-of-the-art facilities to the students but also employment opportunities within the local area."
Mr Lloyd added: "The start of work on our new sixth form centre marks an exciting milestone in the creation of a state-of-the-art teaching and learning environment.
"The superb facilities will enable our A-level pupils to fulfil their academic potential and prepare for university and beyond."