The academy was created in September 2009 to replace the Northfields Technology College and this project will provide new accommodation for 740 pupils between the ages of 13-18.
The team will now work on the pre-construction stage, with a planning application submitted at the end of October, and Willmott Dixon aim to sign the main contract with Central Bedfordshire Council by Spring 2011.
Chris Tredget, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Northern Home Counties, said: “We are delighted to be appointed for this academy and are aiming to have the new facility complete and ready for the new academic year in 2012.
“It’s not just pupils and teachers that will benefit from this; we are committed to investing 50 per cent of the subcontractor spend with local businesses within a 30 mile radius. We will use local companies for a range of services, from groundworks and roofworks to brickwork, joinery, catering and security.”
The Bishop of Bedford, The Rt Revd Richard Inwood, who chairs the St Albans Diocesan Board of Education, speaking on behalf of the Academy’s sponsors, the University of Bedfordshire, Central Bedfordshire Council and the Diocese of St Albans, said, “Choosing a local firm was ethically important to us as Willmott Dixon is very keen to use local subcontractors. Not only are they ready to embrace the school’s Christian character but also our desire that it should be sustainable. All these things will work together to help us make the school a benefit the whole community even as it is being built.”
Principal of All Saints Academy, Tom Waterworth, said, “We are delighted that Willmott Dixon have been appointed. Throughout the bidding stages they have shown that they are keen to listen carefully to our aspirations, and to provide a building of which the entire community can be proud. The new All Saints Academy building will be an inspiration for many generations of students. We hope that our fantastic new facilities will be well used by local community groups.”
The scope of project involves 85 per cent new build, with a 15 per cent refurbishment of the existing property as the current sports hall and gym are carefully integrated into the new academy.
Accommodation is predominantly provided on ground and first floor and the design by Lyster Grillet & Harding Architects will provide flexibility to enable future expansion to meet long-term education demands throughout the building’s lifespan. The pupils’ learning environment will be further enhanced by abundant open spaces, natural light and natural ventilation to help create a stimulating place to learn.
All Saints Academy will also benefit from passive light and ventilation to reduce energy demands and its overall carbon footprint of the building, with renewable technologies expected to provide over 20 per cent of energy needs.
The academy’s Christian ethos is also reflected in the design through subtle uses of space, light and colour as well as locating the chaplaincy and worship spaces in the centre of the academy.