Hartshill Academy pupils took part in a traditional ‘topping out’ ceremony to celebrate the next important milestone in the complete redevelopment of their Nuneaton school. Year 10 pupils Paige West and Taylor Walker were presented with a plant by building contractor Wates which represents the tree that is traditionally hoisted at the apex of buildings once the external structure is complete in accordance with ancient Scandinavian rites.
The pupils joined Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust and Ann Melville, Deputy Chair of the Trust Board and Chair of the Academy Scrutiny Committee, on a tour to the top the new building which is due for completion this summer.
Hartshill Academy, part of the Midland Academies Trust, is one of the first to benefit from the Government’s national Schools Rebuilding Programme. The redevelopment project will deliver a brand-new facility that is fit for 21st century teaching with a target to be net zero carbon in operation and ready for the academy to move into this September.
On her tour of the site, Paige said that she is looking forward to moving into Year 11 in the new building after which she plans to continue her education and prepare for a career working with animals. Paige is a keen horse-rider and particularly enjoys show-jumping. She said, “I love dance, too, and was excited to hear that the new building will include a drama studio with a sprung floor.”
Reading enthusiast Taylor, who wants to become a teacher or journalist in the future, was impressed by the number of windows and skylights in the new development. She said, “I think the new building looks really impressive and I am really looking forward to starting my final year there in September. The whole school will benefit from such a fantastic environment.”
Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust said, “We are delighted to mark another significant milestone on our journey to delivering a new academy building for Hartshill Academy. It was a privilege for us all to be able to able to access the roof as the building’s construction reaches is final stages. It will not be too much longer before our vision is enhanced through a fabulous and inspirational learning environment.
“Hartshill Academy has a long tradition of educating pupils and enabling them to develop and create successful futures. The new building will enable us to deliver even better learning opportunities for our pupils and for future generations, as well as creating a hub for the local community and a beacon for raising aspirations across the local area.”
“It will provide a secure and welcoming environment for pupils, enabling them to reach their full potential with open spaces and wide corridors that encourages pupils to engage fully in their learning and to become ever more ambitious and confident for their futures.”
“Sustainability is at the heart of the new academy’s design with facilities making as much use as possible of natural light, with efficient use of power to save on operating costs and to help reduce carbon emissions.
“Academy life is continuing as usual during redevelopment, and it is planned that the academy will move into its new building in September 2023. We are working closely with our neighbours and with Wates to minimise any disruption to the local community during the construction process.”