Stowupland Sixth Form Centre Reaches Completion
Thanks to an allocation of £2.4m in Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding by Mid Suffolk District Council, work on a new sixth form centre at Stowupland High School has been completed.
Construction began last spring after councillors approved the school’s bid for £2,446,575 in District Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), collected from developers when they build new properties in the district to help infrastructure to keep pace with growth.
Suffolk County Council also provided £533K in funding and has collaborated with the John Milton Academy Trust, Mid Suffolk District Council, and design and property consultants Concertus on the new state-of-the-art sixth form centre.
Following the completion of works in February, the existing sixth form will now relocate from the main school building into the new space. This will create 140 additional school places in total, consisting of 15 new sixth-form places (from 185 to 200) and a further 125 high school places (from 925 to 1,050).
Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “It’s great news that work on this exciting project has completed in time for pupils returning to school in early March. The new building is a fantastic asset for Stowupland, and I’m confident that the wider community will benefit from use of this state-of-the-art facility for many years to come.”
When not in use by the school, the new building will be made available to the wider community, with a community user agreement enabling a vast range of clubs and organisations to benefit from the ultra-modern facilities. Site access has also been significantly improved with a new parking area for seven coaches and a 57-space car park, which exceeds the requirement set by Suffolk Parking Standards.
A dedicated pupil drop-off area will be implemented to help reduce traffic congestion elsewhere in the village at peak times. Additional cycle parking and the installation of a footpath will encourage all pupils to use sustainable transport options where possible – meeting the council’s ongoing ambition to address climate change.
Karen Grimes, Chief Executive of the John Milton Academy Trust said: “We have always been very proud of the achievements of our post-16 students and the new block provides a superb environment for Years 12 and 13.
“It is also a wonderful community facility and we are really excited to work in partnership with the University of Suffolk to deliver enrichment activities throughout the year. Our community user agreement will enable a vast range of clubs and organisations to benefit from these state-of-the-art facilities.”
Ian Barber, Senior Project Manager at Concertus commented: “The new sixth form centre will create a modern learning environment providing four new functional areas.
“The new space consists of a specially designed media suite, a high performing arts studio, a common room and a food technology room. Concertus provided multi-disciplinary design services whilst working collaboratively with the main contractor, S.E.H French, to deliver this exciting new facility. The successful completion of this project is testament to all the hard work of those involved.”
Images supplied by Concertus