Galliford Try has begun construction on two new schools on the site of the existing Merchants’ Academy secondary school in Withywood, South Bristol, in a £12.5m contract
Representatives from Galliford Try were joined by a strong contingent from the school community, including the principals of Venturers’ Academy, Merchants’ Academy Secondary and Primary, as well as students and parents, along with Governors and Trustees and representatives from the Trust’s sponsors.
The new schools, which were procured through the Education & Skills Funding Agency’s national framework, will be known as Merchants’ Academy Primary and Venturers’ Academy, both part of Venturers Trust, sponsored by the Society of Merchant Venturers and the University of Bristol.
The building will utilise entirely off-site forms of manufacture for the building superstructure, in line with Galliford Try’s Optimum Schools concept, following on from the Bristol office’s recent successful handovers of Kingsteignton and Westclyst Primary schools in Exeter.
Early works have commenced on site, with the schools due to be handed over to Venturers Trust in line for the September 2020 academic intake.
Trystan Williams, principal of Venturers’ Academy and executive lead for Venturers Trust, said: “We’re excited that this transformational project is now underway and the children are looking forward to watching their new school take shape.
“This will be a state-of-the-art building for the students of Merchants’ Academy Primary and Venturers’ Academy, with superb facilities including a library, a training centre and a communal hall, as well as a sports area and forest school to support outdoor learning.
“We will also have specialist facilities to fully meet the needs of children with Autism and being co-located with the secondary school will provide our students with access to the fantastic science labs and drama studio. We also look forward to being able to serve a greater number of families from the Withywood community and beyond.”
Mark Wusthoff, area director for Galliford Try South West, commented: “We are delighted to be able to get underway with this exciting project to provide a much-needed new building for the Venturers Trust.
“Galliford Try has a proud track record of building innovative new schools and enhancing their related communities both in the South West and across the country and we look forward to providing the high-quality facility that the students deserve.”