Kier, a leading provider of construction and infrastructure services, held a ceremony to mark the formal start of the project at Southview SEND School and New Rickstones Academy, both located at Conrad Road in Witham, Essex. Representatives from Kier, Essex County Council, the school and the academy met to commemorate the commencement of the project.

Both schemes are being delivered through Essex County Council’s construction framework.

The works at Southview SEND School will create 24 sixth form spaces and 10 residential spaces for pupils.

The new-build block at New Rickstones Academy will contain; seven general classrooms, two science labs, a staff work room, a science prep room, two food tech classrooms, an ICT suite, toilets and a plant room. The school will be increased from six form entry (FE), which is 900 pupils to eight form entry, which will be 1200 pupils.   

Mark Dady, managing director at Kier Eastern & Midlands, commented: “We’re pleased to be continuing our working relationship with Essex County Council in the delivery of these two facilities. Both are important projects for the local community and we hope they will benefits pupils for years to come.”

Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council's Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Life Long Learning and Employability, said: “These new state-of-the-art education facilities will help Essex County Council meet its strategic priorities of helping all residents of the county get the best start in life.

“The Southview SEND School will provide much-needed facilities for the area and help us achieve our strategic aim of ensuring vulnerable children have access to the facilities needed to fulfil their potential, whilst the new build block at Rickstones Academy will help ensure more young people in Essex have access to an excellent education.

“Both will be built to the highest possible environmental standards helping meet our ambitions to tackle climate change and work towards making Essex carbon neutral, as announced in the recent Essex Climate Action Commission report.”

Works to both educational sites have begun this month with completion due in Summer 2022.

These projects are the latest appointment for Kier on the Essex County Council Framework. Also procured through the Framework is Wickford Pupil Referral Unit which is currently on site; a £5m project delivering specialist services for 25 primary school children and 75 secondary school children, due to complete in Spring 2022.