CONSTRUCTION of the new £10 million De Warenne Academy in Conisborough has reached a significant milestone – as staff and students attended a ‘topping-out’ ceremony to celebrate the building reaching its highest point.
Hosted by main contractor Wates Construction, the traditional ceremony is held to bring luck to a new building.
Joined by representatives from Doncaster Council, the event saw students from De Warenne Academy plant oak, holly, beech and willow trees – to represent the school’s houses – ahead of the new building’s completion early next year.
The 6,646 sq metres facility, being built behind the school building, will see the academy expand to provide 750 places for students aged 11 to 18.
David Price, Wates Yorkshire business unit director, said: “We are delighted the students joined us on site to celebrate the progress made on their new state-of-the-art facility.”
Gill Pollard, academy principal, said: “We are delighted with the stunning appearance of our new building.
“A great deal of thought, research and planning has gone into the design of innovative teaching spaces and resources.
“These will transform the learning experience for the young people of Conisbrough and Denaby Main.
“It is fitting that a group of students who started their secondary education in the first year of De Warenne Academy planted trees that will become a symbol of growth and success of the academy.”
Also present at the ceremony was Sir Paul Edwards, School Partnership Trust Academies chief executive, who was responsible for acquiring the grant for the building.
Sir Paul said: “The SPTA is excited about the contribution the new building will make to the continued improvement of the education of the children of Conisbrough and Denaby Main.
“We are confident this will take the partnership with the community from strength to strength.”
Peter Davies, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “This is an important milestone for De Warenne Academy as the new buildings are starting to take shape.
“By early next year, the young people, staff and whole community will have superb new facilities and a modern learning environment, which helps them make the most of their talents.
“It will be a huge asset for the Conisbrough area.
“Doncaster continues to lead the way in how new school buildings are designed and built and this is the third of four secondary schools in Doncaster benefiting from a major overhaul of its facilities.”
Designed by CPMG Architects, the project has included the design and build of a new two-storey main school building, the refurbishment of the existing sports hall and the remodelling of the school’s student support block.