Taunton Academy now has planning agreed and has signed contracts for the £11 million rebuild on the school's North Site. BAM Construction has been appointed to deliver the education development. The Academy partnership features Futures for Somerset, BAM and RM Education. Construction will commence immediately, with handover of the main new buildings scheduled for September 2013. Craig Allen, Construction Director at BAM, said: ‘BAM is looking forward to working with the staff and students and all our partners to create outstanding facilities at Taunton Academy. It builds on our profile in Somerset where we are working hard at Bridgwater to deliver extensive education facilities. There's nothing we like better than projects that help to improve opportunities for young people. Our track record is very strong, and we will giving it our all.' The mix of new build and refurbishment will offer a state-of-the-art science wing and outstanding design, technology and music facilities, alongside a range of large flexible classrooms and ‘heart spaces’ within each college for both academic and social use.
There is £1 million worth of ICT investment. With a wireless infrastructure for ICT the building will be both flexible and offer new opportunities for learning and teaching. The large open learning areas, individual i-learning for research and independent study, alongside an exciting curriculum that students can access and progress through as part of a personalised learning programme, will promote success for all. Apart from two new schools in Bridgwater, BAM is building the new Jubilee Building at Musgrove Hospital which broke ground in March.
Taunton Academy Principal Mark Trusson said, ‘The new build for the Taunton Academy is a fantastic resource for our students and the community for generations to come. The specification for the build is very high and the quality of the learning spaces will compete with any school in the country. Students will benefit from superb new facilities that will help stretch them to attain their very best. Part of the build funding will give our teachers and students access to the very latest technology, and staff are training and developing learning resources and styles of delivery. We are all very excited and look forward to the building completion in one year’s time.’ Academy lead sponsor, the Church of England Diocese of Bath & Wells and co-sponsor Somerset County Council, are also excited to see the building project come to fruition. Tess Gale, School Development Adviser at the Diocese of Bath & Wells commented, “It’s extremely rewarding for everyone involved - staff, students and the community - to see building work start. It’s a really tangible milestone in terms of our aspirations for the Academy, our commitment to first-rate facilities and a celebration of successes so far, as well investment in the future.”