Friday, July 13, 2012

Pupils hear latest on £18m academy scheme

Latest details on plans for a new £18.9m academy to be built by Kier in Greenford have been unveiled at a special display for two groups of local primary school children.

The Year Six pupils, from Horsenden and Oldfield Primary Schools, were the first prospective students to be given a presentation about the new free school in Oldfield Lane North, Greenford, which is set to be built by Kier Construction's Maple Cross office for the Twyford Church of England Academies Trust, which also runs the Twyford Church of England High School in Acton.

During their visit to Twyford High School, the primary pupils were told the official name for the new free school - and why it was chosen.

The William Perkin Church of England High School will commemorate a local chemist and entrepreneur who discovered how to produce purple cloth dye - a breakthrough in Victorian times, when the colour was highly desired for symbolising high status.

Born in 1838, William Perkin had set up a dye-producing factory in Oldfield Lane, Greenford, by the time he was 20. Located near the proposed school site, the area has remained a focus of chemical research and production almost to the present day: the new school campus will be built on the site of the former Glaxo Sports Ground, providing 5.4 hectares of space.

Alice Hudson, executive head teacher at Twyford High, and her deputy, Keir Smith, who will be associate head of Perkin High, said the choice reflected Twyford's specialism in science and the values it shared with William Perkin, fostering inquisitiveness, enterprise and philanthropy.

As the local association with purple will be reflected in the colour of the new school uniform, pupils were invited to try on purple blazers and to sketch out some preliminary design ideas for a school badge and tie.

The Twyford Church of England Academies Trust has selected Kier as preferred bidder for the new school, which will have places for 1,200 11 to 16-year-olds, plus a sixth form with places for 250 students and a centre for children with special educatiOnal needs. Under current proposals, the local community will also be able to use the school’s facilities, including five sports pitches, floodlit hard playing surfaces, indoor sports hall and activity studio.

The Kier project team has formally submitted a planning application to the London Borough of Ealing. Construction is expected to begin in October 2012, with the main building being ready for the first intake of pupils in September 2013. Internal fit-out works will continue until April 2014.

Senior architect John Southall, of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, appointed by Kier for the design and build project, outlined key features of the main building, including bright and airy top-floor art studios, spacious classrooms, creative technology rooms, and modern science labs with fully glazed frontages looking into the heart of the school, enabling as many students as possible to watch experiments as they take place.

The four-storey structure features a triangular footprint encompassing a large open area extending its full height, flooded with top-down natural light and skirted by balconies looking onto a large library and a central performance space with seating for 500. Externally, polished stainless steel and textured brickwork will be prime features of the building fabric.

The primary school parties, together with invited pupils from Twyford High, closely examined a scale model of the new William Perkin High and keenly discussed the concept with the organisers.

Executive head Alice Hudson said the proposals had already received strong community support and she was delighted to see the children so engaged with the new project. "This event brought it alive for them. Certain features, especially, caught their imagination, such as the open-view science labs and extensive outdoor spaces."

Keir Smith commented: "It's marvellous to be able to create a brand new school like this from scratch, giving us all a unique opportunity to put our educational experience into practice."

Representing Kier, senior project manager Joe Murphy said: "As the team chosen to deliver this keenly anticipated major education project, we have found it invaluable to be so closely engaged with the school and local community at every stage."


  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP