The multimillion-pound redevelopment of Marine Academy Plymouth (MAP) is progressing well; the topping out ceremony took place in May.
MAP is an important catalyst for the regeneration of the local area, helping to raise attainment levels and aspirations of both its students and the local community.
BAM Construction is carrying out the £9.5 million overhaul of the academy, which is scheduled for completion in September this year.
Work on the academy, which specialises in the marine environment, has included the remodeling of the 1980s-built science wing and ICT suite; the construction of a three-storey block to house a range of facilities, including classrooms, a community theatre, a dance studio, music rooms, science laboratories, an ICT suite, a new kitchen and dining area. The new building will have capacity for 1,152 students aged from 11 to 18.
There will also be a hair salon, open plan restaurant and dining areas which will welcome use by senior citizens and other members of the community as well as meeting rooms for community groups providing a wonderful resource for the local community.
A key part of BAM’s brief was to re-orientate the focus of the buildings on the site, to provide new contemporary elevations of both remaining and newly constructed buildings to give a more dramatic and inspirational view of the sea.
BAM’s construction manager Graham Kingdon said: “We are excited to have the opportunity to deliver a truly inspirational facility for students in Plymouth.”
BAM has carried out several projects for Plymouth University, including the Roland Levinsky Building and medical staff residences now under construction in Truro.
Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth University, the Lead Sponsor of MAP, reflected upon the progress of the academy since it opened in September 2010. She said: “The academy has made enormous strides since its launch nearly three years ago.
“The ceremony was both a celebration of MAP’s achievements to date, and a symbol of the exciting developments ahead that will lead to further success for our students and the community.”
Helen Mathieson, Principal of MAP said: “MAP continues to be a story of success, serving its community and ensuring a brighter future for our children.
“We are fortunate to have the expertise, experience and innovative practice of the award-winning constructors, BAM, to see through this radical programme of new build, rebuild and refurbishment which is so crucial to our community.
“The collaborative nature of the work done so far has ensured that a genuine sense of confidence and security is felt by the senior leadership here at MAP; I have total faith in the project manager, Graham Kingdon, to deliver the calibre of partnership working on site that will enable staff and students here to continue to drive forwards in raising standards and developing the academy to the full.”
Stride Treglown are the architects on the development and, speaking about MAP, a spokesperson said: “The Academy’s vision is to improve the life chances of its students by giving them different options, transferable skills and self confidence. This needs to be supported by an outward signal of change, which has been fundamental to our design development. The school’s central vision is to create an all age campus for lifelong learners, at the centre of an engaged, regenerated community.
“The development significantly improves the school with major benefits for the pupils, students, teachers and the surrounding community.”
The building is part of a project of more than £14 million, which will also see the construction of a brand new primary school, MAP 2, plus an Astroturf sports pitch. Construction of the primary school commenced in July of 2013, and will be completed in April 2014.