A £5m building project at Darlington's Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College will be officially opened next week.

The project started in summer 2003 and brings all of the college's annexes on to the main site in Vane Terrace.

A central feature is a glazed atrium which provides a student study area with IT resources. There is also a sports hall, purpose-built suites for business, leisure and tourism, drama and theatre studies; new science laboratories and, on the top floor, an open plan studio for art and design. As part of the project, existing rooms in the Abbey Wing have been refurbished.

More than 300 invited guests are expected on Wednesday. They include Sir Alan Wilson, director general for higher education in the DfES and a former old boy of Darlington Boys' Grammar School (the forerunner of the Sixth Form College).

As guest of honour, he will unveil a commemorative plaque in the entrance to the extension.