Builders finish work at multi-million pound new Ipswich school site
This is the new multi-million pound Copleston High School building - where future generations of Ipswich students will take their first steps in their pursuit of bright futures.
The major Ipswich secondary and sixth form, which teaches 1,800 pupils, has been based at the same historic building for about 80 years.
Yet while it has served the town well and helped to shape Ipswich’s best and brightest, leaders recognised more modern facilities were needed for education in the current age.
With funding from the Department for Education, it has created a new purpose-built building equipped with the latest technology - which principal Andy Green says will “level the playing field” by giving everyone access to high-quality resources.
The new site, now completed and officially handed over to the Gippeswyk Community Educational Trust school, boasts new sports and drama studios along with science laboratories, as well as wider corridors and more open space.
There will be more seminar rooms where young people can study in small groups, along with high-quality IT facilities for modern learning.
That will make video conferencing and the livestreaming of lessons easier, something which has shown to be crucial during the current coronavirus crisis.
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The larger teaching block will also help the academy to cater for an extra 200 students to help meet the town’s growing demand for school places.
In the long term, the new building is expected to save money by being more efficient and environmentally friendly – with the site expected to serve the town for decades.
Mr Green said that Copleston students would be “getting the building they deserve”.
He added: “It gives students who already work incredibly hard a level playing field.
“It means that, whatever your background, your child is getting access to the very best facilities and opportunities in order to be able to learn and succeed.”
Building work at the site has been ongoing since January 2019.
Although some of the old Copleston site will remain, two of the old teaching blocks are set to be demolished – with most learning being transferred to the new building.
Copleston High School has also been given a £409,665 grant from the Premier League, Football Association and the government’s Football Foundation to revamp its 3G football pitch.
As well as improving sporting facilities for Coplestonians FC, the club associated with the school, Mr Green said: “It will help us to improve grassroots sport in Ipswich and get even more people involved in the nation’s favourite game.”
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