Rebuild team dartmouth academy
Dartmouth Academy Rebuild
Dartmouth Academy is about to be changed beyond all recognition as its £8.5million rebuild begins...
Dartmouth Academy is improving – its results are on the up and a new curriculum, teaching staff and uniform have helped transform it for the better over the last two and a half years.
But now a physical transformation is also about to take place: 30 year-old buildings will disappear to be replaced by facilities fit for 21st Century education – and contractors Leadbitter are the team to take on the challenge of the rebuild.
When finished, the new Academy buildings will feature the best educational technology, extensive renewable energy-generating systems – that will sometimes generate more energy than the school needs - and a multi-functional school and commercial restaurant designed with the help of Dartmouth celebrity chef Mitch Tonks.
The main building will be ready for occupation in March 2014 and the whole project is due to be completed on June 30 2014. It is the largest ever investment in education in Dartmouth – and the biggest investment in public buildings too.
The Academy held a public consultation to collect ideas and desires of the community for the new buildings before awarding the build contract – and many of these ideas have been taken forward to the final design.
Leadbitter’s vision includes exciting, high-tech interactive classrooms, flexible teaching spaces, a single building complex with a modern vibrant design, which will inspire the learners coming through its doors.
Leadbitter won the opportunity to rebuild the Academy in part thanks to its detailed plan for the construction of the new buildings, demonstrating how the company could bring the project in on time, on budget, and most importantly of all, without disrupting learning.
By a combination of staggering build dates, shifting working and delivery times and other clever measures they have convinced the Academy no student’s education will be disrupted during the rebuild.
Dartmouth Academy Principal Nick Hindmarsh said: “It is very exciting, after 18 months in the planning, to be at this point – we are looking at the most significant and positive change to education facilities in Dartmouth in a generation. The new Academy buildings will emphasise and support our all-through structure and give the children and people of the Dartmouth area the school they have deserved for so long.”
Dartmouth Academy Chair of Governors Mary Shaw said: “This is the moment we have all been waiting for, the moment that the rebuild starts! Our staff have been transforming the school over the last two and a half years, improving standards and raising expectations, and this rebuild will help to inspire them and a new generation of learners in Dartmouth.
“The new Academy design feels just right for all ages. I like the way little ones can be dropped off at their classrooms and have their very own play and eating areas, and how children in the Gateway phase can choose whether to stay with younger friends or mix with older pupils at lunchtime. Older students will love the high-tech design and facilities.
“It is clearly a modern building, but it’s not all concrete and glass; everyone will be wowed by the views from the community restaurant! Inside and outside it will look like a completely new school, but a few existing areas, in good condition remain, saving money and adding to the amazing new facilities.
“It is going to be a fantastic place for everyone.”
Leadbitter Regional Director Rob Bradley said: “Leadbitter is delighted to get the ‘go ahead’ to commence construction works after many months of working closely with the Academy team to design a fantastic new building. Our Project Manager James Thomas is ready to start this exciting phase of the project and we look forward to the new facilities being complete in summer 2014.”
First Published March/April 2013 By The Dart