Kenilworth staff and students celebrate milestone at new schoolPosted on: 25/03/2022
Students and staff at Kenilworth School joined contractors building the new premises in Glasshouse Lane for a ‘topping out’ ceremony this week to mark a milestone in the creation of the £44 million development.
Representatives from the Department for Education, Homes England, governors, trustees, fundraisers, project managers and the architect were also invited to celebrate the completion of the building’s steel structure.
Three students, from years 7, 8 and 9, spoke of their excitement about moving into the new building when it opens its door in September 2023.
One said the emotions he felt were akin to the thrill of opening Christmas presents, adding that ultimately a school is the people it contains.
Another, who is behind a campaign to create safe cycleways to the new building, supported the green measures being put in place at the school. She was delighted that the hundreds of bike racks being installed will not only help cut carbon emissions but will encourage healthier living.
A tour of the building concluded with executive head of Kenilworth School and Sixth Form, Hayden Abbott, and chair of the KMAT trustees, Shirley Whiting, signing the final part of the building’s massive steel structure.
Hayden Abbott said: “This topping out event is a landmark occasion, as we are on the threshold of significant change. Our students and staff are excited at the prospect of a new chapter for the school.
“We are united in our commitment and motivation to deliver an outstanding new school which will provide the foundation for excellence in education in years to come. This is a unique opportunity to change the shape of education in Kenilworth and to bring the community together in a way that will multiply benefits to students, staff and residents.
“The opportunity for residents to use these excellent facilities will not only develop a sense of community but will also build on our growing reputation as a World Class School.
“We have loved watching the new school sprout from the ground. An immense amount of hard work, dedication and energy has gone into the project over the past couple of years and to see it reach this stage is quite emotional. The contractors have kept us abreast at every stage and have involved many of our students in aspects of the build such as energy efficiency and design features.”
The project, one of the largest of its kind taking place in the UK, will see Kenilworth School and Sixth Form relocated from its two existing sites in Leyes Lane and Rouncil Lane.
It has been designed with numerous eco features, such as a thermally efficient shell, solar PV panels, sustainable drainage systems, smart lighting, high efficiency boilers and air source heat recovery units. Outside, electric vehicle charging points will be installed, along with more than 500 bike racks, with the potential for 200 more.
An incredible feat of landscaping and levelling also means no spoil has been taken off site – creating huge environmental savings and reducing disruption to neighbours by minimising transport movements.
The building makes the most of the impressive countryside vistas, with huge windows and a series of courtyards between the ‘fingers’ of the building offering students a chance to nourish their souls through being close to nature.