A SCHOOL which had been ravaged by a fire has held a special ceremony to officially open its new teaching block.

The £3.7 million new building at Coed Eva Primary was unveiled late last month.

A fire occurred at the site in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2016 and it destroyed the infant and nursery block.

The fire caused millions of pounds of damage.

Speaking at the ceremony, Councillor David Yeowell, executive member for education, said: “This official opening marks a significant milestone for the school and community who have shown incredible spirit in their response, not just in the immediate aftermath of the fire but in the weeks and months that followed.

“We do not forget what happened that night, but this event is one where everyone at the school can certainly focus on a brighter future.”

The leader of Torfaen Council, Councillor Anthony Hunt, also attended the ceremony and said: “This new block is a fabulous addition to the school and the epitome of the phoenix that has risen from the flames.

“I’m pleased the council were able to support the school’s vision for this replacement block with over £750,000 of extra money so that it is now integrated with the main school building and far more than a like for like replacement.’’

And head teacher Gill Ellis thanked people for attending the ceremony.

“In January 2016 our infants’ site was burnt to the ground causing devastation within our local community,” she said.

“The fire affected everyone, with staff having to teach in temporary accommodation for 18 months and it was only the strength and support of our local community which has got us to where we are today.

“A lot has happened in the last two years. We have had workmen on-site continually, but it has been worth it to see this brand new, fully equipped teaching block.

“I would personally like to thank the council and Interserve for providing us with this wonderful facility, our governors, staff, parents and our local community, but most of all our children who have behaved brilliantly throughout all the upheaval."

She added: “The reward has been the smiles on their faces when we were able to move into the new block in February this year.”