Topping Out Ceremony
05th October 2017
Construction nears an end on new £45m specialist academies in Leeds
The official topping out ceremony for the last of the new Springwell Leeds academies took place on site on Friday 29 September, marking the completion of the frame of the final building.
The new Springwell Leeds Academy, is a specialist academy which will be split across three sites in north, east and south Leeds and provide world-class specialist learning environments for pupils aged between 11 and 16 with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs who are unable to attend mainstream schools.
Leeds City Council has invested £45 million into the project to transform specialist education in Leeds. The investment will ensure world class provision for children and young people with additional SEMH needs in the city.
The council has worked collaboratively with Wellspring Academy Trust, Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP) and Interserve Construction, to ensure the unique requirements of Wellspring’s SEMH delivery model and the SEMH pupils are met.
Interserve, the international support services and construction group, has been on site since September 2016 constructing the three new build schools which will include specialist teaching areas, sensory rooms, outside learning areas and sports pitches, as well as multi-use games areas.
The schools will be run by the Wellspring Academy Trust, a multi-academy trust and approved DfE Academy sponsor that is focused on improving life chances for pupils and communities in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Experts in the education of young people with SEMH needs, the Wellspring Academy Trust is the only SEMH provider in the north of England to be rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.
Scott Jacques, Executive Principal of Springwell Leeds Academy, said:
“The topping out ceremony is an exciting and important milestone in the development of Springwell Leeds Academy. We are delighted to be working with our partners at Leeds City Council and Interserve to deliver this unique project which will ensure that the City has access to world class provision for children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. Our students, parents, carers and staff have all followed the construction process closely and are really excited at the prospect of moving into these incredible new buildings in the near future.”
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families, said:
“It is great to see the Springwell Leeds buildings progressing and on track to open next year. This is an exciting time for specialist learning provision within the city, and the £45m investment demonstrates our continued commitment to ensuring all pupils are supported to succeed and reach their full potential. This new specialist provision will radically improve the learning, support and outcomes for some of the city’s most vulnerable children.”
John Gittins, divisional director at Interserve, said:
“These schools are significant investment by Leeds City Council into the education of pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs in Leeds. Interserve has worked with Leeds City Council and the Leeds Education Partnership for several years to deliver numerous projects around the city and we look forward to continuing this relationship as the Council continues to invest in its education facilities.
“At Interserve we are fully committed to providing true social value and implement bespoke employment and skills plans on all our projects, helping to ensure we benefit the local people and communities. This project has created new jobs and opportunities for local people and we continue to work closely with local education providers to benefit their students.”
The project completion is expected for July 2018, with the three sites ready in time for the 2018 academic year.
Interserve has a strong history of working with the education sector for which it has completed over 200 schemes during the last 15 years.