Felixstowe: Academy ready to move in after keys are handed over

Handover of keys to Felixstowe Academy. Left to right: Annett Thompson (Concertus), Ian Foster (Chai

Handover of keys to Felixstowe Academy. Left to right: Annett Thompson (Concertus), Ian Foster (Chairman of Academies Enterprise Trust), Andy Kinder (Balfour Beatty), Andrew Salter (Principal, Felixstowe Academy) and members of the community, staff and those connected with the project celebrating the hand over. PHOTO: Paul Nixon Photography. - Credit: Archant

Students at Felixstowe Academy will move into their new £19million state-of-the-art school next month after the building was finished on time.

The keys to the building in Walton High Street were handed over to academy principal Andrew Salter at a small ceremony.

He said: “I very much hope that the students will be excited with what they will see and that this new, bright, colourful and truly inspiring space will help them to achieve and to truly ‘make their best better’.”

Built by Balfour Beatty, the 11,000 square metre campus will cater for 1,800 students and its many facilities include a “super lab” for modern science curriculum needs.

It also features a 440-seater theatre-style main hall with retractable seating system, brand new sound and lighting to support academy and community productions; performing arts studio and activity studio to provide specialist facilities for dance and gymnastics; and new sports facilities built to national standards. More sports pitches will be created on the site of the old Orwell High building when it is demolished.

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In addition to specialist facilities for design and technology, ICT, music, sport and science, there are two wings of general teaching classrooms on three floors.

The academy has been designed and built using modern and energy-conserving materials and techniques – including intelligent lighting controls, solar panels and a biomass wood pellet burning boiler and heat recovery ventilation.

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Ian Foster, chairman of the academy’s sponsors, Academies Enterprise Trust, said: “This exciting new development is the fulfilment of our original pledge to the students and staff that every young learner will be able to thrive in an environment which has first class facilities and the most up to date resources.”

Suffolk County Council and Suffolk-based property consultants Concertus managed the Felixstowe Academy development project.

Councillor Lisa Chambers, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education, skills and young people, said: “Students and staff at Felixstowe Academy are right to be excited by the prospect of moving into this fantastic new building.

“These modern facilities - designed around the needs of young people and their all-important education – will create the best possible environment within which teaching and learning can flourish.

“This is a significant investment in education in Suffolk and the county will be stronger for it.”

Speaking on behalf of the construction team, project manager, Andy Kinder, said:

“It has been a pleasure to successfully deliver another new academy for Suffolk, after completing the Ipswich Academy last year. The project team has yet again demonstrated that true collaboration and teamwork does work and the proof is this new state-of-the-art academy for Felixstowe being handed over on time and on budget.”

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