Topping out ceremony held for new Hampton Gardens school

A topping out ceremony will mark a significant milestone in the construction of the new Hampton Gardens Secondary School.

The event on Tuesday 6 December 2016 will celebrate the completion of the construction of the school’s external structure and roof.

Work on the £21.8 million project officially got underway in February 2016, with the school in Peterborough's new Hampton Gardens development on schedule to open in September 2017. The school is being built to accommodate 1,500 students, including 300 sixth form students.

The secondary school is mainly covered by a grant from the Education Funding Agency as part of the free schools programme. This will pay for the build and technical advisor costs, with remaining costs to be shared by Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.

Hampton Academies Trust, which runs Hampton College, will manage the school which will serve a catchment area that includes Hampton, as well as the village of Yaxley. The school will have a 3G all-weather sports pitch and a multi-use games area which will be made available for use by community groups.

The topping out ceremony, which will take place on the rooftop of the schools, follows a builders’ rite, traditionally held when the last beam (or its equivalent) is placed on top of a structure during its construction. 

Councillor John Holdich, leader of the council and cabinet member for education, skills and university, said: "Progress on site is really gathering momentum and there is now a real visual element to the construction of the school.

"The new Hampton Gardens Secondary School is an integral part of our ongoing plans to provide additional school places in Peterborough and it follows the recently opened West Town Primary Academy building in the centre of the city which has allowed for more primary school places."

Executive headteacher of Hampton Academies Trust, Helen Price, said: "We are delighted to have reached this exciting milestone in the construction of Hampton Gardens School. It has been a real privilege to follow the project from the planning and design stage to where we are now, looking forward to opening next year. Local residents will be able to see that the outside of the building is nearing completion. Inside, classrooms and other learning and social spaces are taking shape."

The Hampton Academies Trust has confirmed the appointment of Al Greenwood as Head of School. Al is currently deputy headteacher at Hampton College and will move across to the new school full-time as opening approaches.

Councillor Mac McGuire, who represents Norman Cross on Cambridgeshire County Council, added: "I am delighted that this exciting and vital project is reaching fruition. It is the first of its kind for us in terms of joint working between ourselves and Peterborough City Council. Improved secondary school provision for the northwest of the county - and in particular the Yaxley area - is something I have campaigned on for a number of years. This joint provision will go a long way to meeting the ambitions of many in our community."

The building works are being carried out by Carillion Construction Limited.

The deadline for applications for the initial intake of Year 7 students has now passed and parents will receive notification of allocated places on 1 March 2017.

The school will then grow a year group each year until it reaches capacity.

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