Willmott Dixon Construction has completed building works at the new Academy of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in Tipton.
The £23.5 million project on the site of Willingsworth High School’s sports fields is the first and only new-build academy project which has been commissioned by the RSA, a national charitable organisation with a long standing involvement in education.
Main construction works began on site at the beginning of 2009, with students remaining in their existing school premises until the new building officially launches in Autumn 2010.
As part of the project, Willmott Dixon also undertook an eight-week initial enrichment programme which involved parent/student open days, career talks, competitions and a trade fair.
Stuart Blakemore, science teacher at the RSA Academy, said: “I am delighted with the Enrichment Programme, how the course was delivered and how the Willmott Dixon representatives managed to engage the students.
“The commitment shown to the course has been deeply appreciated. Having the opportunity to utilise learned skills in practical situations made it much more appealing and I am sure our relationship with Willmott Dixon will continue to grow and flourish as the lessons so far will definitely impact our students’ future careers choices.”
The new academy and sixth form is designed to hold up to 1,150 students and will incorporate a fully equipped multifunctional theatre, sports hall, food tech rooms and modern science classrooms.
Nick Gibb, pre-construction director from Willmott Dixon Construction, added: “We aim to make a visible difference within the communities we operate in, and we believe that engaging everyone, from students and staff, to the wider community, is pivotal to the future success of a project like this.
“The students at RSA embraced the chance to learn about sustainable construction, which will provide them with a broader knowledge of the importance of green-building in modern day society, and also prove that a career in construction could be something worth considering in the future.”