Ipswich: Building work starts on new Ipswich Academy campus

CONSTRUCTION work on the new �16million campus for Ipswich Academy has begun.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer was the guest of honour at the ceremonial turf-cutting event to mark the start of the project yesterday.

The academy’s new home will be in Brazier’s Wood Road, adjacent to the Gainsborough Sports Centre, and will replace the current premises in Lindbergh Road.

The building is due for completion in October 2013.

Nancy Robinson, Ipswich Academy principal, said: “We are really excited that the project is finally under way. It means we will soon have a tailored teaching environment in which to deliver our personalised model of education.

“The design is fabulous, it is environmentally friendly, light, modern and airy.

“The architects who designed the building have won awards before and I wouldn’t be surprised if they won an award for this development.”

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

Alongside the sports building will be a new all-weather sports pitch built to FIFA ** standards – which means that it is of sufficient quality to host a World Cup final.

The teaching block is designed to be largely open plan inside. The main teaching building 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 learning spaces.

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

Ipswich Academy students will be part of an expanding group with international links to similar schools in the USA, Sweden and India.

Since starting on site in September, main contractor Balfour Beatty has discovered some items of interest from the Bronze Age during an archaeological survey and has also created a new habitat for common lizards, a protected species found to be living where the academy’s new entrance will be.

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