New Build Update October 2016
During the summer term work on our new building continued at a fast pace as Morgan Sindall took advantage of the (mainly) good weather. The most progress has been made with the main school building – the framework is now almost completely enclosed and windows have been installed on three aspects. Three of the four staircases allow access to the first and second floors, with scaffolding to the roof. Rooms have clear demarcation lines so that specific areas can be visualised. The contractors continue to enclose the building so that the winter weather does not hamper progress, as well as laying the bricks for the lower external walls and installing the drainage system and other groundwork required for the utilities.
Work on the adjacent sports hall is also gathering pace. Foundations are complete and the steel framework is being erected. Overall the programme is currently one week ahead of schedule.
Since meeting with Gill Roberts, Morgan Sindall Education Support Officer, in April we have organised a number of events, the most successful of which was the Turf Cutting ceremony held on Friday 17 June 2016. Pupils and staff from South Shore Academy were joined by pupils and staff from other local primary schools including Marton Primary Academy and Waterloo Primary School. Other attendees included officials from the Education Funding Agency, the Department for Education, Blackpool Council and Morgan Sindall. Also amongst the invited guests were several members of staff who had attended South Shore Academy (previously Palatine High School) as pupils. The turf was cut by Dame Dana Ross-Wawrzynski, CEO of Bright Futures Educational Trust and Jane.
In July a group of our Year 10 pupils visited Leach Structural Steel Works Ltd in Garstang to observe the fabrication of the steel girders for our sports hall. Their visit included a presentation illustrating the origins of the company (which started life as a farm) and the processes the steel is subject to before it is ready for delivery to site. At the end of the visit they were presented with a plaque engraved with the school motto: “Creating opportunities, inspiring success”. There will be a further opportunity on site for pupils to sign the steel before it is hidden within the walls of the finished sports hall building. This event will hopefully take place during the last week of the half term.
It is intended that all pupils who will be taught in the new building have the opportunity to visit the building site so that they have a flavour of what is happening around them and the processes involved in creating our new school premises. Currently a small group of pupils from Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 dress in the appropriate personal protective clothing (PPE) and visit the site each Thursday morning. They are joined by school staff including Howie Ellinsworth who is keeping a pictorial record of the weekly progress of the build. Two groups of Marton Primary Academy pupils have had an escorted visit of the site and visits are currently being arranged for pupils from our other feeder primary schools.
We are also arranging for South Shore Academy staff to visit the site as and when they are available to take advantage of the windows of opportunity offered by Morgan Sindall.
Gill Roberts has been extremely helpful in supporting our current marketing strategy and is currently in the process of arranging:
- A DVD for Jane to use as part of her Principal’s address during our Open Evening on Thursday 13/10/16.
- Two members of Morgan Sindall staff to man a display on Open Evening and answer questions from prospective parents.
- 2 large boards at the front of school (along St Anne’s Road) illustrating our new build, including up to date photographs of the progress so far (they are liaising with BFET marketing consultants, Glove Marketing, with this).
- Site visits for Year 6/5 pupils from our feeder primary schools.
Currently Margaret Beaumont and Howie Ellinsworth hold weekly meetings with the site manager, John Taylor. The purpose of these meetings is to deal with any day-to-day issues which may arise as the two communities work alongside each other. To date there have been few issues, and any that have arisen have been satisfactorily resolved with little fuss.
Progress meetings, involving the Chair of Governors, BFET Estates and Facilities personnel, the EFA and Morgan Sindall take place monthly. Sub-committees of this group are now meeting on a regular basis to discuss Power and Data and Reviewable Design Data – namely colour schemes (mainly limited to subtle shades of grey), internal signage, key suiting and furniture. Ged Mitchell, BFET Estates and Facilities Manager has secured funding which allows South Shore Academy to have new ICT equipment and furniture for most rooms in the new school – as these items are not covered in the Priority Schools Building Programme.