Work on a new £14million pound state-of-the-art school building got underway at Arnold Hill Academy yesterday. Newly appointed Headteacher of the Academy Sharon Smith was on site to celebrate the start of construction work as diggers begin shifting earth to make way for the foundations of the new upper school block. She was joined by Richard Scarrott from Wates Construction, the company charged with making the cutting edge building a reality.
Using the latest “super block” design, the 3 storey square building will have an impressive range of facilities. A 4-court indoor sports hall and theatre with moving walls will form the centre of the block with classrooms, including a dance studio, ICT rooms, food rooms and art rooms, wrapped around them.
New outdoor sports facilities will also be created including 2 football pitches, 2 rugby pitches and a 300m grass running track. The lower school building and sixth from centre will remain but all three buildings will be closer together, reducing the walk from one site to another.
Mrs Smith said: “We’re so excited about this wonderful new building – it will mean two-thirds of our school buildings will be brand new. It’s going to transform the learning environment for our 1700 pupils, not only giving us the very latest high tech facilities but also providing a real heart to school life.”
She added: “We’re extremely grateful to the Education Funding Agency for approving funding for this project so quickly and we’re delighted with Wates inspirational design and fast construction schedule.”
The design has seen Wates apply its innovative Adapt School solution, through which the contractor will save time and cost in construction without compromising on quality. It is expected that the steel frame will be fully erected by July, with completion of the 8000m2 building scheduled for June next year.
Refurbishments to the lower school will also form part of the project, including an expansion of dining facilities. Both buildings will be open for the start of autumn term 2016.