Construction has officially begun on a new high school for the west end of St. John's.

Government and municipal politicians, as well as school district and school council representatives participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking on Friday morning.

The state-of-the-art $38 million school will be located across from the Village Shopping Centre on Topsail Road, near the former Newfoundland School for the Deaf.

Minister of Education Clyde Jackman said the new facility will be the first new high school to be built in St. John's in many years.

"The city’s changing demographics, and the aging inner-city high school infrastructure, led to a decision to construct the new school, which will accommodate about 860 students in Grades 10-12," said Jackman.

"With the site work now virtually complete, I look forward to watching the building take shape."

Marco Services Ltd. of St. John’s has been awarded the tender to build the school, which will replace both Booth Memorial and Bishops College.

The school will feature more than 30 classrooms and a host of amenities, including two challenging-needs suites, four science labs and two applied technology (skilled trades) suites.