Gallery: Milestone marked at Ipswich Academy
PUBLISHED: 10:32 20 March 2013 | UPDATED: 10:32 20 March 2013
IT’S a milestone which marks the start of a new era for education in east Ipswich.
And to celebrate the progress being made at the new £16million Ipswich Academy site, staff and pupils welcomed visitors to a special topping out ceremony.
The facility in Braziers Wood Road will open to hundreds of students in October, who will be moving from their current site in Lindbergh Road.
Academy principal Nancy Robinson and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the ceremony heralded a bright future for the school, formerly Holywells High.
Before fixing a plaque in place at the site, Mr Gummer said: “Thank you has to go to Nancy for what you have done in what has been a difficult year.
“I have never waivered in my beliefs of what you and the students will achieve here.”
He said the success of the Ipswich Academy project had paved the way for the rebuilding of Chantry High School, now Suffolk New Academy.
“I also want to thank the students at Ipswich Academy because it will be your hard work, your aspirations and your ambitions that will make this place flourish and sing.
“The future of this town and the county is in your hands.”
Principal Nancy Robinson added: “What a proud moment this is – hard-fought, long-awaited but where we are.
“It’s very exciting to be standing here and knowing that this will be a place of learning.
“It (the new build) is a symbol of aspiration and of hope.”
The building will be completed by Balfour Beatty for the start of the new term in October, with the new campus being made up of two buildings.
The main block will house teaching spaces and a sports area, which will be a custom-made part-fabric structure.
Alongside the sports building will be a new all-weather sports pitch built to Fifa standards.
The teaching area will be largely open plan, and made up of smaller colleges.
Other facilities will include a fully-equipped hair and beauty salon and a dance studio, while major investment has also been made in IT facilities.
The academy has endured a tough year, having been named as one of the seven worst performing in the country.
Meanwhile, in January English GCSE results were shown to be down 17% on the previous year.
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