WORK is well underway on a new state-of-the-art building for Orsett Heath Academy, part of South West Essex Community Education Trust (SWECET), which is expected to open in September 2024.
Leading UK and Ireland offsite manufacturer, McAvoy has recently been appointed to deliver the education project by the Secretary of State for Education. Construction has begun on the 8,610 sqm 3-storey secondary school, which will have the capacity for up to 1,200 pupils aged 11-16.
The new secondary school will showcase innovative internal design features including a double-height dining area, spaces for students to collaborate and share ideas, and a performing arts hub.
Students at Orsett Heath Academy have currently been learning in an interim building, which opened in September 2020. Steve Munday, Chief Executive of SWECET said: “We are delighted that work has commenced to build our permanent secondary school facility, marking a significant milestone in our journey towards ensuring the best possible learning environment for our students. A lot of hard work by all parties has gone into getting us to this point.
In the meantime, colleagues across SWECET and Orsett Heath Academy have continued to ensure exceptional provision is in place for our pupils at the interim site which was newly built in 2022. They have been able to take advantage of its excellent facilities such as specialist classrooms, IT enhancements and a floodlit Alternative Grass pitch that is the size of Twickenham.”
Sian Rawson, Head of School at Orsett Heath Academy, said: “Our community, students and families have eagerly awaited this state-of-the-art facility that will allow us to continue to provide an exciting and ambitious ethos of high expectations and achievement to even more students in our local area. We’re so pleased that building work is underway and would like to thank all those who have supported us in our community during this time.”
It is anticipated that the academy will move across to the purpose-built brand-new building in September 2024 and its current interim building will remain in joint use for educational and sports provision, with specialism in sports, the arts and a strong international approach to language. This will create a lasting legacy, enhancing education, sport and recreation as a ‘Thurrock Institute of Sport.’
Ron Clarke, CEO of McAvoy, said: “Our team has significant experience of delivering high-quality accommodation within the education sector to demanding programmes and we are delighted to be appointed for this major project by the Department for Education. We have invested heavily in our manufacturing and delivery infrastructure in recent years with a view to securing projects of this nature where sustainability, quality and delivery within budget and programme are essential.”
Those interested in learning more about Orsett Heath Academy and receiving regular updates about the building work can follow the school’s Facebook page (@OrsettHeathAcademy) and Twitter page (@OHAupdates).