SEEN from the skies for the first time, these photographs show the extent of the development of the new Ipswich Academy.

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Work at Ipswich Academy’s new home in Brazier’s Wood Road, adjacent to the Gainsborough Sports Centre, is moving ahead of schedule, with the building due for completion by October.

The £16million development will open its doors to hundreds of students later this year, who will be moving over from their current building in Lindbergh Road.

And to ensure the youngsters are part of the build during every phase of the project, the students are helping to pick out colour schemes and furniture choices. Over the past few months, staff and students have been on countless tours of the site to view the progress being made.

The academy’s principal Nancy Robinson said their dreams were quickly becoming a reality. She said students were getting to have their say on how they would like to see the new site look, and were asked their thoughts during a recent impact day.

She added: “Our new building is progressing rapidly and is slightly ahead of schedule.

“The academic leadership team has been to visit the site and we are starting to make plans for the move, which staff and students are excited about.

“Having a custom-designed building to fit our education model is going to prove a huge boost for our teaching provision.

“Seeing the actual spaces now that walls are starting to go in is very exciting and is bringing it all to life.”

The new campus will be made up of two buildings – a main block which will house the spaces for teaching and a sports block which will be a custom-made part fabric structure containing a number of areas as well as a main sports hall.

Alongside the sports building will be a new all-weather sports pitch built to FIFA standards.

The teaching block is designed to be largely open plan. The main teaching area will be organised into smaller, more intimate colleges where students will spend the majority of their time.

Other facilities will include a fully-equipped hair and beauty salon and a dance studio as well as contemporary arts and technology spaces.

A major investment in IT is also included, creating a modern digital learning space, remote working, individual devices for most students and video conferencing.

Since work on the site began back in September last year, Balfour Beatty, the main contractor, has discovered a number of items of historical interest from the Bronze Age.

They have also created a new habitat for common lizards, a protected species found to be living on the new site.

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