Priests have donned hard hats to bless the foundations of the new St Ambrose College.
School chaplain Fr Jonathan Mitchell blessed the ground on which the Hale Barns Catholic Grammar School will stand.
The service took place at the centre of the new £22.5 million pathfinder building and involved the blessing and burial of a Celtic cross. The school will be built in the shape of a Celtic cross.
Headmaster Michael Thompson said: “We felt it would be apt to have a Celtic cross underneath our feet and for the site of this fabulous new project to stand on holy ground.”
The new school is expected to be ready for September 2012. The main body of the Celtic Cross will feature four houses on two levels, with eight distinct learning faculties for mathematics, English, science and languages among other subjects.
On the ground level will be an open-plan social area with a chapel at the heart of the school and an auditorium for 1,000 people which can be converted into a theatre.