The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have appointed BAM Construction to build The Deanery Church of England Academy, a brand new secondary school in Swindon which will join the Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust (DBAT)
After receiving planning permission in July, signing this contract marks another significant move forwards in the project. The Deanery will be situated close to the existing Wichelstowe Waitrose store and will form part of the new Wichelstowe District Centre. The three-storey school, with enhanced sports and arts facilities, will open in September 2019. From September 2018, it will be possible to make applications for Year 7
BAM has worked in consultation with DBAT and the ESFA to develop detailed designs within the budget of £26.5 million to produce a building which will be a landmark at the heart of the new community. Designed by AHR architects, BAM will fit out the school, except for the specialist ICT aspect, with Hydrock providing structural and services engineering.
Pat Griffin, BAM’s Senior Design Manager, said
“Externally, the school has a dignified and elegant look but provides for a really vibrant mix of activities and facilities. It maximises daylight as an integral part of the design.”
“BAM’s role reflects our strong track record in the sector and in Swindon, where we are currently mid-way through the construction of a new secondary school at the Tadpole Village site and also recently completed the new University Technical College. We are using a consistent and experienced team who employ a very collaborative approach. Our early engagement here allows us to bring in our supply chain which helps identify and mitigate risks.”
The scheme follows BAM’s completion of the highly regarded Swindon UTC, and the company is also working on Swindon’s Great Western Academy. The company has around 15 schemes on site throughout the South West and South Wales.
Cllr Fionuala Foley, Swindon Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Children's Services and School Attainment, said:
"The Deanery will provide amazing facilities for pupils and is a significant investment in the new Wichelstowe development. I look forward to seeing the new school take shape and I'm pleased the Council has been able to contribute some funding to enhance what promises to be a state-of-the-art educational facility."
Linda Culling, Principal Designate of The Deanery, said:
“Signing the contract is another important step on our journey. I hope that many parents and children will join us in the creation of what will be an outstanding school.”
As well as providing for the new development, The Deanery will increase choice in the Borough, where there currently isn’t a Church of England Secondary School. The Deanery CE Academy will be an 11-18 secondary school, eventually providing 1470 places. It will have a range of high quality specialist workshops for graphics, ICT, and electronics, science studios, and music facilities as well as general teaching rooms. Thanks to additional funding from Swindon Borough Council there will be a floodlit all-weather pitch, drained grass pitches, a sports hall to Sport England club standards and a 440-seater auditorium.
Work has just begun on the site and a formal turf-cutting ceremony is planned for late September 2017.