Medway Council has announced the appointment of BAM Construction to design and build Medway’s three new academy schools. The combined contract value is approximately £80 million. It builds on the contractor’s strong position in the area and in the education sector. As its preferred bidder BAM will build all three of Medway’s academies - Strood Academy, Bishop of Rochester Academy and Brompton Academy - following the Council’s extensive selection process.
The first new building will be for Strood Academy, which opened in September 2009. The academy, which specialises in business, enterprise and mathematics, will benefit from a £29million development that, subject to full planning permission, will include a new sixth form and a vocational centre designed to provide a variety of vocational courses to both pupils and the community, called the Inspiration Centre.
The Council will be working closely with BAM Construction and Strood Academy over the next few months as the detailed design phase begins and building is expected to start on site during spring 2011.
The build will also include new and improved sports facilities for the academy, which will be available for the community to use.
Designs for Bishop of Rochester Academy in Chatham will be developed from late 2010 with completion of the new build expected in summer 2013. Brompton Academy in Gillingham will be designed from spring 2011, following on from the other two design stages, and is hoped to be completed in summer 2013.
Rod Stiles, Construction Director at BAM, said:
‘BAM is delighted to be working with Medway to deliver the new academies. We have enjoyed engaging with the teachers and students from Strood Academy, the Sponsors and the Council to get this far. We look forward to forging a great partnership that will deliver three outstanding academies for students and the surrounding communities.’ Medway Council’s Portfolio holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks said:
‘Our three academies are part of the council's work to provide the best opportunities for our children and young people and help improve educational standards in Medway. I am pleased we have reached this critical stage of appointing a contractor. ‘The contractor’s scheme was chosen for the way in which it responded to the educational brief set to them as well as the views raised by students during the design competition and their desire to be involved in the build. ‘What these academies will offer is not only inspiring buildings for children and young people in which to learn, achieve and thrive, but also hubs for the local community, with fantastic facilities that will benefit everyone in Medway.’ Nearby, BAM is at work at Bluewater Events Centre and North West Kent College, both in Dartford, having recently completed the College’s Gravesend campus. The contractor was listed in the UK’s Best Green Companies at its first attempt and is on the shortlist for the Green Building Council’s contractor of the year. Principal of Strood Academy Richard Hart added:
‘We are delighted to be working with BAM and Nicholas Hare Architects to provide Strood with outstanding new Academy buildings. We have been working with Medway Council and our sponsors the University for the Creative Arts for the past year and believe the pupils, staff, parents and the community will have an exciting building that will help us raise standards and engage the local community.’