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Plans to deliver an essential new school for east Birmingham in 2021 remain on track, despite the challenges of one of the wettest winters on record and the recent Covid-19 crisis.

The Eden Boys’ Leadership Academy, Birmingham East is an 800-place multi-faith school being delivered by Wates Construction in the Alum Rock area of Birmingham, on behalf of Star Academies, one of the leading Multi Academy Trusts in the country.

Construction work on the school started in January this year and is set to complete in April 2021, in time for the new academic year in September.

John Carlin, Wates Construction’s Regional Managing Director for the Midlands, said that a combination of adapting working practices on site and a focus on using offsite manufacturing had ensured the project remained on programme.

He said: “We commenced groundworks during a period of incredibly poor weather, followed almost immediately by the Covid-19 crisis, so it’s a real testament to the dedication of the team that the project remains very much on target for its completion date in 2021.

“As with all our sites, there was a short period of lockdown in line with Government guidelines but we were then able to restart the site once we had established a series of protocols that would ensure the safety of everybody working on the project.”

“We are now nearing the completion of the superstructure of the main building and over the next two months we will add the steel frame system and the façade. Importantly we are also working closely with our mechanical, electrical and plumbing partner, SES Engineering Services, to integrate a number of innovative offsite solutions that are driving significant efficiencies in the build programme and helping reduce the number of people we need on site.”

The new school is situated on a 3.5 hectare site and includes a three-storey teaching block, a sports hall and winter and summer sports pitches. The site will also include space for 94 car parking spaces and 96 cycle spaces.

Star Academies is one of the UK’s most successful academy trusts, with many of its schools topping the league tables in terms of progress for 11-16 year olds, and John believes the new school will provide a fantastic facility for the local community.

He said: “Creating an enduring legacy is fundamental to our approach at Wates and we believe this school will not only provide great facilities for the local community today, but fantastic opportunities for generations to come.”

David Holland, Executive Director of Capital Programmes & Estates at Star Academies, said:

“Wates’ proactive approach to delivery and their desire to maintain programme despite the many challenges faced has been very impressive.  Staff and pupils are very much looking forward to the handover of the new school next year”


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BDC 316 : May 2024