Topping out ceremony marks new primary school progress

A topping out ceremony will mark the highest point of construction for the new primary school being built on the former Peterborough District Hospital site.

The new building is on schedule to open in October 2016 to allow West Town Primary Academy to relocate and expand from its existing site on Williamson Avenue.

It will provide places for 630 pupils - double the number at the existing site - and the school will increase the admission number for reception children from 45 to 90 from September 2017.

In building construction 'topping out' is a builder’s rite, traditionally held when the last beam is placed at the top of a structure during its assembly.

The £6 million Education Funding Agency project is part of the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme that addresses the needs of schools most in need of repair. The building works are being carried out by Kier Construction.

The council has also contributed an additional £2million towards associated works including the retention and restoration of the Memorial Hospital and highway improvements. These costs are not covered as part of the Priority Schools Building Programme.

Councillor John Holdich, leader of the council and cabinet member for education, skills and university, said: "The topping out ceremony of the new primary school is an exciting milestone in its development.

"Everyone involved in the project is pleased to see the building really taking shape and I look forward to when it opens later in the year."

Dennis Cotton, Operations Director for Kier, added: "I am proud of the work that the team has undertaken to top out at West Town Primary Academy after only seven months on site. It’s a credit to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved."
West Town Primary Academy is part of the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust.

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