Wellington Academy is well on the way to welcoming students to its £32m new building which is due to open its doors next April.
A topping out ceremony took place on Monday to celebrate reaching the completion of the external structure and guest of honour Sarah Bunting was welcomed by school staff, governors and the Kier team to mark this significant project milestone.
The generous donation of £2m from Tim and Sarah Bunting enabled Wellington College, led by its headmaster Anthony Seldon, to sponsor the academy project near Tidworth, and make Wellington Academy’s cutting-edge new building a reality. Sarah commented: “We had both been students at Wellington College so when Anthony Seldon put forward his idea of an academy we thought it was a fantastic opportunity, enabling Wellington College to give back some of the benefits it has as a school.”
Chairman of governors David Cowley added: “This is one of the most exciting school buildings in the country and it is a pleasure to see what has been achieved. It will transform the lives of the students and the community.”
The academy is currently housed in the buildings of the former Castledown School and its principal Andy Schofield is itching to get in. “Every time I come in here it just gets better and better,” he said.
The building is now 40 weeks into its 79-week building programme and by the time everything is finished 3,000cu m of concrete, 70,000 bricks and 2,000sq m of timber cladding will be in place.
The main academy building is scheduled to open in April 2011, while the boarding element will follow in July and the sports pitches will be ready in December.