Pupils from 2 Cumbria schools have marked the start of work on a modern, multi-million pound building through the government’s flagship rebuilding programme.
Workington Academy is being built through the £4.4 billion priority school building programme (PSBP), which is transforming some of the most run-down schools in the country.
As a result of the £20.1 million investment, 2 schools - Stainburn School and Science College and Southfield Technology College - will come together in a modern, fit-for-purpose new 2-storey facility. Work is due to be completed by June 2017.
Schools Minister Lord Nash said:
Our investment in school buildings across the country is transforming the learning environment for tens of thousands of pupils and their teachers.
The start of construction at Workington Academy is a key milestone for the PSBP in Cumbria.
Ensuring all children have access to the best possible schools and facilities is just one part of our commitment to help all young people reach their potential regardless of their background. These buildings will provide modern, fit-for-purpose schools for pupils for many years to come.
Lorrayne Hughes, Executive Headteacher of William Howard Trust, said:
These are really exciting times for the community of Workington, with a fantastic new building underway that will provide excellent facilities and an outstanding learning environment.
A spokesman for Sir Robert McAlpine said:
Sir Robert McAlpine are extremely excited about being involved in this prestigious project. We have a wealth of experience of designing and constructing schools all over the country which we will bring to Workington to provide the excellent facility which the town has long required.
We are also confident that the construction phase itself will boost the local economy. For instance the work has already commenced using local contractors, we have placed future orders with other members of the local supply chain and additionally a number of our management staff live in the local area.
Thanks to the PSBP, school buildings are being rebuilt faster and cheaper than those built under the previous school building initiative - Building Schools for the Future (BSF). Under the BSF it took 3 years for construction work to begin. This was slashed to 1 year for the PSBP, with projects costing around a third less.
A total of 537 schools will benefit from construction through the 2 phases of the PSBP.
Notes to editors
The priority school building programme was established in 2011. A total of 260 schools will have their condition needs addressed through the first phase of the programme.
Thanks to decisions which have been taken to improve efficiency and reduce waste, significant work on those projects is already underway. In September, 22 buildings re-opened through PSBP thanks to £160 million of construction work, and the total number to have been re-opened through the first phase of PSBP is now 49.
In May 2014, the government announced a further £2 billion for the second phase of the programme. We published a list of the 277 schools to benefit from the second phase of the PSBP on 9 February 2015.