Willmott Dixon has signed a £25.7 million contract with Northamptonshire County Council to deliver Kettering Science Academy.
The academy is part of Northamptonshire County Council’s £55 million academies building programme that Willmott Dixon was appointed preferred bidder for in April. Next to follow will be Kettering Buccleuch Academy, and then the Malcolm Arnold Academy, Northampton.
Working with Nicholas Hare Architects, the company will start on site later this month on Kettering Science Academy, sponsored by Brooke Weston Academy Trust, to create a new 1100 place school in the Ise Lodge area of Kettering. The new building will replace the existing secondary phase of the Kettering Science Academy, previously the ISE Community College.
Peter Owen, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the Midlands, said: "It’s great news that we have the go-ahead following the uncertainty in the summer when many of these projects were called in for review by the new coalition Government. We also hope to agree a contract for Buccleuch Academy in the near future and it is important to highlight – in addition to their educational significance - just how important these academies will be to local business.
“We are committed to investing 50 per cent of the combined value of the academies work with local businesses within a 30 mile radius of our sites. We will use local companies for a range of services, from groundworks and roofworks to brickwork and joinery.”
Peter continued, “We recently completely the Corby East Midlands International Swimming Pool and many of the team live locally, including myself.”
The bespoke academy, which is due to open in September 2012, is built on two levels with a 28-metre diameter central courtyard. It will also have a 450-seat theatre, a sprung timber floor sports hall, two Astroturf pitches and two 'super labs' to further support the science specialism.
The building's green credentials include a first for any school in Northamptonshire - a hi-tech heating system located under the lower playing field. This will regulate the temperature of the water flowing through the underground pipes so that it can be used in the Academy's heating and cooling systems, helping to reduce energy bills.