Edgar Wood Academy, Sheppard Robson And Wates Construction, C Sheppard Robson
Wates secured the work via the Department for Education’s Modern Methods of Construction Framework

Wates eyes 2022 completion on £17m Edgar Wood Academy

Julia Hatmaker

Construction work has begun on the 72,300 sq ft Rochdale secondary school designed by Sheppard Robson.

When complete in September 2022, the Edward Wood Academy will be able to hold 900 pupils ranging from 11 to 16-year-olds. There will be 23 general classrooms and 34 specialist classrooms stretching across the three-storey building, as well as a sports hall, sports pitches and soft and hard play areas. Altus Education Partnership will operate the school.

Wates Construction secured the work via the Department for Education’s Modern Methods of Construction Framework. The national contractor was appointed to the framework in January 2020.

Temporary accommodation is also being built for the school’s first 120 Year 7 students to study at come September this year. That accommodation will be at Hopwood Hall College, roughly three miles away from the Edgar Wood Academy site.

Wates has been working closely with faculty at Edgar Wood Academy, according to headteacher designate Marcin Kojder.

“Wates Construction has paid particular attention to the school’s vision and how the building can help to achieve it,” she said. “As the school has developed, time has been set aside for additional meetings, just so that we can get the school exactly how we want it.”

Dave Saville, regional director of Wates Construction North West, stressed the benefits of pre-construction collaboration.

“We have been moving forward on this project since August 2020 and have fostered a really strong collaborative relationship with complete integration of all the parties involved – the highways department, the local council, the DfE, our own team and Altus, who from the start, had a very clear idea about how they wanted the building to look,” Saville said.

Wates is also nearing completion for its 900-student Whitehaven Academy in Cumbria. The company handed over the Hartford Church of England School in Northwich and the Upton Primary School in Chester recently as well.

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