A £9 million contract to design and construct a new science-specialised free school in Bradford, West Yorkshire, has been awarded to BAM Construction.


The contractor says it will deliver exceptional value for money by using elements of the existing industrial site infrastructure within the design to create the new Kings Science Academy.


The school, run by the Kings Free Schools and Academies Trust and supported by Hartley Group chairman Alan Lewis CBE, will hold about 800 pupils.


Work is due to start on site in March, with the students relocating from their current location in September 2012 into the first phase of the new building.  The whole development will be completed in Spring 2013.


BAM Construct director Steve Wheller said the school design provided a true value for money solution, with the budget focussed on educational benefits rather than structural solutions.


‘We have worked closely with the Principle, Sajid Hussain, to come up a solution which maximises the use of the existing structures resulting in less money and time being spent in the ground and allowing the redirection of funds on the areas which will make a difference to teaching and learning, such as efficient use of space, and effective integration of I.T.’


The building is designed to be easy to maintain, and with natural light and ventilation, running costs for the Academy will be kept down.


BAM was selected for the job after a rapid procurement process through the Partnerships for Schools academies framework. It follows BAM’s success elsewhere with Academy wins for Kearsley Academy in Bolton, Aylesbury Vale Academy in Bucks, and Hackney UTC in London, since the framework was unlocked by the government in June.


Both academies and free schools are state-funded but are run independently of the local authority and the national curriculum.


Bradford is home to a proud history of work for BAM. The contractor has just completed the 3,160 sq m Culture Fusion building for the YMCA, taking it past £50m of work on seven recent jobs in the city including three schools, a university facility, an academy and a college.