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The start of construction work on the new Furness Academy building on the grounds of the south site of theformer Parkview School in Barrow) begins on Tuesday.
The school is being built in partnership with Kier Construction Ltd with a £22 million grant, which was given to Cumbria County Council from central government as part of the council’s reorganisation of secondary education in Barrow-in-Furness.
To mark the start of the build, representatives from the county council, Kier and Furness Academy will meet on the sports field outside the site at 10am alongside a group of Academy students and Year 5 primary school pupils to dig a spade into the turf.
The new building, which will accommodate 1,200 pupils, will be set over two and three storeys located on part of existing playing field area. Pedestrian and vehicle access will be provided from Park Drive.
The facility will provide an indoor sports hall, multi-use games area to the rear of the new buildings, an all weather 3G sports pitch to the north and will utilise existing sports fields.
The positioning also ensures minimal disruption to students’ learning during construction, which is due for completion in 2013.
County Councillor Duncan Fairbairn, Cabinet member for schools and learning, said: "This is a pivotal moment for the future of secondary education in Barrow. As we have seen with the completion of the academy buildings in Carlisle, purpose built state-of-the-art facilities are proving to be an inspiration to both staff and students.”
Nigel Griffith, project manager from Kier Construction Ltd said: "We are delighted to be responsible for building Furness Academy - our fourth for Cumbria County Council - and to mark the start of work with a traditional sod-cutting ceremony. We look forward to creating an inspirational and effective learning environment for its future students.”
Furness Academy Principal Douglas Blackledge added: "It’s such a relief to finally be at this stage. I’ve seen before what a wonderful boost brand new facilities can give to everyone involved; that’s students, parents, staff and the wider community, who we are adamant will also benefit tremendously from this fantastic investment in Barrow’s future.”