News & Insights

Morgan Sindall celebrates transformation of Wirral high school

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has officially opened Ridgeway High School in Birkenhead with a celebratory ceremony to mark the handover of the £12 million project delivered by Morgan Sindall.

The project is one of 12 schools that have been rebuilt by the company under the North West batch of the Education Funding Agency’s (EFA) Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), which aimed to provide purpose-built buildings to schools in most need of urgent repair.

Ridgeway High School was originally built in the 1970s and had been extended in the 1990s. Morgan Sindall has transformed the school’s estate; delivering a new three-storey teaching building and a new single-storey sports hall, which will be used by the school’s pupils and the local community.

The new buildings are arranged around three terraces and set within existing playing fields, which are retained for sports and recreation use. New utilities, including an electricity substation, which supplies power to local homes and the school, have also been built. The original buildings will be demolished and replaced with new access routes and landscaping in early 2018.

Archbishop Sentamu, the Primate of England, was on a special tour of Birkenhead during the school’s opening week and attended the celebratory event on Friday, September 8th to officially open the new building.

During the handover ceremony, the Morgan Sindall project team, led by project manager Chris Jones, presented the school with a good luck commemorative plaque created with a horseshoe discovered on site by the project team during construction.

Morgan Sindall also invited magician Dean Lahan to the school to entertain the pupils as part of the handover celebrations. 19-year-old Dean, who is known as the Fingerless Magician, after losing his fingers and a leg to meningitis, mingled with students and staff after the official ceremony, keeping guests entertained with his marvellous magic tricks.

Tony Taylor, headteacher at Ridgeway High School, said: “We’re delighted to be in our new school building. It’s a superb facility, which was completed six weeks ahead of schedule and it offers state-of-the-art resources to students, school staff and the local community. During their time on site, the Morgan Sindall team was very approachable, open to ideas and feedback and they have made our dream building a reality.”

Cllr Bernie Mooney, cabinet member for Children and Families at Wirral Council said: “We’re delighted to see the transformation of Ridgeway High School. The new purpose built building will create a learning environment where children can thrive and grow, and I look forward to seeing Ridgeway High School go from strength to strength over the coming months and years.”

Barry Roberts, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “The Priority Schools Building Programme has enabled the delivery of first-rate education facilities for schools across our region that were in very urgent need of repair.

“The new development at Ridgeway High School has created a pleasant, modern, purpose-built learning environment that will benefit students, teachers and the local community and we’re pleased and proud to have successfully delivered these transformational works.”

The Priority Schools Building Programme’s (PSBP) North West batch, has seen Morgan Sindall transform 8,144 school places for the Education Funding Agency (EFA). The programme has involved 12 schools in Blackpool, Chester, Wigan, Manchester, Stockport and Merseyside, under a contract awarded to a Morgan Sindall Investments/Equitix consortium in August 2014. Morgan Sindall’s successful delivery of the school schemes created efficiencies that enabled the EFA to save £34.9 million.

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