Main contractor Bam Construction has finished building the 109,000 sq ft Laurus Ryecroft academy in Droylsden, capable of accommodating 1,350 pupils.
The three-story building has been designed by Pozzoni Architects and occupies a 14-acre site off Lumb Lane in Tameside that previously housed a secondary school.
The academy is one of the newest from education charity the Laurus Trust, which runs six other schools including the Ofsted ‘outstanding’-ranked Cheadle Hulme High School and Didsbury High School in Greater Manchester – both of which were also designed by Pozzoni.
Laurus Ryecroft has been designed to accommodate nearly three times as many pupils as its predecessor high school, with the aim of preventing Tameside running out of its currently limited number of school places as the local population grows.
To maximise space on the development site, Pozzoni designed a three-story ‘superblock’ building with adjoining sixth form and sport hall wings.
The site also accommodates external sports facilities and social spaces across a mixture of hard and soft surfaces.
The building’s design also aims to aid the natural flow of pupils around the school with the help of a ‘figure of eight’ circulation strategy, Pozzoni said.
Staff areas have been placed to aid wayfinding and supervision, while the stacking arrangement of classrooms is also intended as a way of making efficient use of space.
Catherine Mulley, director of Pozzoni and head of the practice’s education team, said: “This new building has been designed to sit perfectly within its surroundings; providing indoor and outdoor spaces equally suited to learning and socialising – offering pupils a stimulating environment both for education and personal growth.”
And Martin Vevers, head of Laurus Ryecroft, added: “After accommodating our first cohorts of students in temporary buildings, we were pleased to move onto our new school site.
“The ethos of all Laurus Trust schools is to provide an excellent all-round education for students and our surroundings are fundamental to this.”