Work to rebuild three Heston schools has finally begun, six years after the scheme was first announced.
Pupils at Heston Community School wielded shovels last Wednesday as they took part in a traditional ground-breaking ceremony.
The secondary school in Heston Road, Heston, will benefit from a new three-storey 'community block', replacing outdated classrooms and temporary huts, as part of the £22 million project.
The neighbouring infants and primary schools will be completely rebuilt to form a combined primary school, although the Victorian building currently housing the infants will be retained as a dining room.
Council leader Peter Thompson hailed the long-awaited rebuild when he joined head teacher Phil Ward, students and representatives from contractors Apollo Education at Wednesday's ground-breaking.
"The schools have been 'making do' with inadequate facilities for far too long, and it's exciting to see the work getting underway," he said. "We are committed to providing our children and young people with facilities that not only bring them up to modern standards, but meet the needs of future generations and the wider community.
"We've had a lot of feedback from local people on the plans which is important as these are very much their schools as well. When the work is completed, Heston will at last have school buildings to be proud of."
The community block will be completed before the existing Norwood block is demolished, allowing work to begin on the new primary school. The entire project is due to be completed by the end of 2011