Conlon Construction has successfully handed over the first phase of a new multi-million pound academy in Blackpool, ahead of schedule and in time for the new school year.
Armfield Academy, named after Blackpool FC legend and former England captain, Jimmy Armfield, is a multi-phase project involving the refurbishment of existing buildings, as well as the design and construction of new buildings at the former Arnold School on Lytham Road, South Shore.
Delivered on behalf of the Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT) as part of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Construction Framework, the all-through academy will eventually provide facilities for 1,300 pupils aged two to 16; with overall completion due in summer 2019.
A launch event marked completion of phase one, which sees the academy ready for its first cohort to begin this week, which includes nursery children, 60 reception students and 160 year seven students.
In addition to a new three-story teaching block, facilities include new technology-led classrooms, a 4G artificial football pitch and extended catering provision.
Tony Nicholson, CEO of FCAT, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming our first cohorts of Year 7 and reception students into this first phase of Armfield Academy.
“FCAT has worked closely with Conlon Construction to develop a high quality facility that will enable generations of youngsters to receive the very best schooling and development as young responsible citizens.”
Chris Lickiss, executive principal at Armfield Academy, added: “As our first cohort of reception and Year 7 students enter the school this week, it truly is an historic moment for the town. These children will be the face of Armfield Academy and help to shape its future.
“For all the team and associated colleagues, this has been a very busy summer but it has all been about one thing: creating an outstanding school environment in which all children can thrive, whatever their ability, whatever their background. This marks the culmination of more than two years hard work in creating our new Academy, and we are determined to ensure that we deliver to the community that has supported us throughout that period with an ‘Academy to be proud of’.
“Our thanks go to Conlon Construction for ensuring that phase one of the development is ready for the start of the new term and I look forward to continuing the strong positive relationship that has been developed between us over many months as we work together to deliver phases two and three of this exciting project.”
Darren Lee, commercial director at Conlon Construction, concluded: “Our long history and experience in education played a major role in delivering phase one ahead of schedule, without compromising quality or safety.
“Armfield Academy enhances the education offer in Blackpool and will provide young people for future generations with state-of-the-art teaching environments that inspire quality learning.”