Work completes on multi-million expansion to Etonbury Academy
Work has officially completed on the second phase of a £12.2million (£10.6million in construction) expansion programme to Etonbury Academy, Bedfordshire, which has been delivered by Morgan Sindall.
The project on behalf of Bedfordshire East School Trust (BEST) was formally handed over by Morgan Sindall, on time and on budget, as part of a celebratory ceremony to mark the completion of work to the school.
Morgan Sindall area director David Rowsell and project manager Peter Dashwood handed over the keys to Alex Prior, Etonbury Academy’s Principal and the Chief Executive of the Bedfordshire Schools Trust, Dr Alan Lee, in a ceremony which was attended by students, the chair of governors, trustees and Central Bedfordshire Council ward member for Arlesey and BEST trustee, Cllr David Shelvey.
This was the second phase of expansion works to the Arlesey school under Central Bedfordshire Council’s New School Places Programme, which aims to meet current and future demand across the area over a five-year period to 2022.
The expansion follows the successful completion of a £6.8 million expansion that Morgan Sindall delivered at the school in 2016. Over the space of three years, the major programme has taken the school’s capacity from 400 students to more than 1,100 school places.
This latest development on the Etonbury site includes six new classrooms, an additional science laboratory, technology and engineering spaces and two new food technology rooms. The new build will help to provide additional capacity and an outstanding learning environment for what has become a very popular and oversubscribed school.
David Rowsell, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “It’s always a great cause for celebration when we hand over a completed project and we’re thrilled to be celebrating the completion of this exciting expansion to Etonbury Academy.
“Over the last three years, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed working alongside BEST and the school to deliver their vision for the future of Etonbury Academy. This project is another great example of the collaborative relationship we have built with Central Bedfordshire Council and the fantastic results that can been achieved through this partnership, delivered both on time and on budget.
“This expansion programme will create a huge impact on the school, significantly raising their capacity and ensuring they can welcome even more children into their classrooms. We hope everyone at the school is delighted with their new facilities and will enjoy working in first-class, modern teaching environment.”
Councillor Steve Dixon, Central Bedfordshire Council Executive Member for Families, Schools and Education, said: “Our New School Places scheme is about creating additional places in areas of demand like Arlesey, so that children can go to a good local school on their doorstep.
“Like many parts of Central Bedfordshire, Arlesey is a popular place to live for families. That’s why we are creating more places at Etonbury Academy. I am pleased that the work was carried out so well and I’m sure pupils and staff will look forward to using the new facilities.”
The new buildings represent the final stage in what has been the largest and most impressive development in the school’s history.
Dr Alan Lee, Chief Executive at BEST, said: “All at Etonbury are delighted with the new learning spaces. They creatively employ light and a range of cutting-edge technologies to enhance teaching and learning, across a number of curriculum areas. The whole project is the result of a powerful transformational partnership between BEST and Central Bedfordshire to deliver exceptional facilities for the children we are proud to serve.”
A large 1876 Gavioli fairground organ, from the Saunders Collection in Stotfold, played to pupils and parents as they left at the end of the school day to represent the school’s history and celebrate its regeneration.
Morgan Sindall’s project partners included architect DLA, structural engineers Peter Dan, AMR Consult, Emec Design & Consultancy and Rex Procter & Partners.
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