New school building opens in time for Christmas | Wates

New school building opens in time for Christmas

Primary school pupils at Bluecoat Academy have christened their brand new building this week, holding their nativity play in their new assembly hall. Work finished on the new £5.7 million expansion project at Harvey Road this week, with contractors Wates…

Primary school pupils at Bluecoat Academy have christened their brand new building this week, holding their nativity play in their new assembly hall.

Work finished on the new £5.7 million expansion project at Harvey Road this week, with contractors Wates Construction building over the keys in time for the school’s Nativity Play.

Wates was on hand to assist with the Christmas theme and hired donkeys for the children to ride during the play. The contractor has also hosted a series of tours of the new building, where work completed this week.

Commissioned by Nottingham City Council, the new 420-place academy has 15 classrooms, an assembly hall, a playground, break-out areas, small group rooms, a specialist unit for children with autism and a 26-place nursery.

A formal completion and hand over ceremony took place at the school on Tuesday 13 December, which saw Wates hand over the keys to the new primary school to Bluecoat Academy and Nottingham City Council in time for the New Year.

Wates’ work on-site included the launch of its ‘Adopt a School’ mentoring initiative at the academy in September this year. Set to continue until autumn 2018, the programme includes team-building exercises with Year 7 students, career workshops with Year 10 pupils and ‘Green Living’ sessions on reducing the environmental impact of building sites.

The new Bluecoat Academy building was procured through the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) framework, which is managed by public sector built environment specialist, Scape Group, and aims to improve procurement and building works for public sector bodies. The school was designed by Lungfish Architects, which is also part of Scape.

John Carlin, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Midlands, said:

“We’re all getting into the festive spirit at Wates, and what better way to celebrate the completion of Bluecoat Academy during the Christmas period than to support the teachers and pupils with their annual nativity play.

“In continuing our presence at the school through our ‘Adopt a School’ programme, we are given a unique opportunity to engage with young people to increase their awareness of the sector and up-skill Nottingham’s future workforce to help bridge the region’s skills gap.”

Sue-Ellen Shaw, Headteacher of Bluecoat Academy Primary School, said:

“The children and staff at the Primary are really pleased with their new building.  The bright classrooms, large communal areas and outdoor spaces will really help us to deliver our rich and varied curriculum; and provide an exciting learning environment in which our children can thrive. What a fantastic gift we have been given this Christmas!”

Cllr Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment and Skills at the City Council, said:

“Investment in our schools is crucial and we are committed to providing a good school place for every child in Nottingham. We are taking action to ensure that there are enough primary school places to meet the current and future demand. In September, 92% of children were offered a place at their first or second choice primary school and this investment will improve this further.

“The Council’s expansion strategy will ensure that every child and young person has access to the very best facilities in order to help them to succeed and reach their full potential. We must ensure that all children have the opportunity to access high quality teaching and learning. Parents in Nottingham want good schools, with places available, close to home.”

Building work began in February 2016.