Training the engineers of tomorrow in Colchester
- Credit: Archant
The building which will become home to the new £14million Paxman Academy in Colchester has been formally handed over to the education trust which will run it..
And in a fitting tribute to the town's industrial heritage, a MAN marine engine at the entrance to the academy was unveiled by councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council cabinet member, to mark the occasion.
Barnes Construction was awarded the £14 million contract to build the 900-space new school early in 2018.
The academy, which will be run by The Sigma Trust, incorporates a three-storey building with 20 classrooms, a library, a suite of science laboratories, technology workshops, and a sports hall. Outside there is a new multi-use games area and grass sports pitches.
MAN Energy Solutions (formerly Paxman) has had a presence in Colchester for more than 150 years and it donated the marine propulsion engine to commemorate the company's strong links to the town.
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Richard Guest, managing director of MAN, said: "Our company has a world-wide reputation for its large high-speed diesel engines and has been a major influence on the social and economic life of the town since the late nineteenth century.
"Going forward, MAN will be working closely with the school in order to encourage students into engineering and into MAN Colchester.
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"Engineers are key to the UK and currently we have to pull them into the area due to the lack locally of the desired skill sets."
Carol Anne Moffat, head teacher at Paxman Academy, said: "Now that Barnes Construction has handed over the school to The Sigma Trust, staff will be busy getting ready for the first intake in September, resourcing classrooms and ensuring that all parts of the building are well-equipped."
Mr Gooding added: "I'm very pleased to mark another milestone in the journey toward a brand new sustainable secondary academy in Colchester.
"These buildings, designed to optimise all aspects of education, are now ready and everyone involved in this project can feel excitement building for the first intake of year 7 students to the Paxman Academy in September.
"This link with Colchester's industry provides a foundation upon which Paxman Academy can build a reputation for excellence, just as the great engineering company we once knew as Paxman still holds today as MAN Energy Solutions."