Work on a south Wales valleys town's multi-million pound regeneration project is beginning with the demolition of a police station.
Children from five communities around New Tredegar will go to the school
But the town will not be losing its police cover for long - the station will reappear as part of a wing of a new £4m state-of-the-art community school being built on the site.
The construction of the school in New Tredegar in the Rhymney Valley has been the catalyst for the construction of a by-pass road and the planning for 20 business starter units.
The total cost of the project has been estimated at between £17 and £19m - with funding from Caerphilly Council, the Welsh assembly the Welsh Development Agency, Europe and others.
But in order to begin construction, the police station in Elliot Street has to be razed to the ground.
Demolition experts are planning to move in the next few weeks in order to carry out the work on the building which has served the community for the last 24 years.
Calls to the police will be diverted to the station in nearby Bargoed while work on the new school is constructed.
The new police station will be based within the new community wing in the school, with the doors expected to open in September 2004.
Pc Kim Hassall from the Gwent force worked at the New Tredegar station for 16 years.
"It was a purpose-built building with a cell and was a good station, but over the last couple of years it hasn't been in use," he said.
"At its peak it was manned by a sergeant and four Pcs.
"I am very sorry to see the old station going because it was a good station but we are going to have space in the new school," he added.
Caerphilly Council cabinet member Rob Gough said they have been working towards the regeneration scheme since 1999 and New Tredegar has been designated a Communities First area.
"Everyone is so happy about this new scheme," he said.
"It all started with the new school and we found that there was a whole host of other things that we could do in the area.
"I have never met such a bunch of enthusiastic people from the Communities First New Tredegar Partnership and it is just fantastic that it is finally happening," he said.
The new school for primary-aged children can hold up to 350 pupils and is expected to serve the five communities within New Tredegar.
It will replace Cwmsyfiog, Elliot Town and Tirphil primary schools and will be situated on the former colliery site in the town, with the expected opening date in September 2004.
The community wing will have a library, a community health centre and will also accommodate the police.