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End in sight as opening date for school revealed

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 13, 2014

13/02/14 Pic of Scientia Academy - Scientia Academy, off belvedere Road
Ongoing work on Scientia academy, off Mona Road..

13/02/14 Pic of Scientia Academy - Scientia Academy, off belvedere Road Ongoing work on Scientia academy, off Mona Road..

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A DATE has been released which will finally see children taught in a new Burton school – eight months after they were supposed to be.

Staffordshire County Council has revealed that the official opening of the Scientia Academy, off Belvedere Road, is set for March 27.

The privately run academy, being built on the former Belvedere Park Club site, in Belvedere Road, was supposed to be ready for the start of the new school year last September but delays in the work meant children had to be taught in temporary classrooms.

The building of the 420-pupil capacity academy was hit with delays which were put down to ‘adverse weather conditions’, forcing Staffordshire County Council to activate a contingency plan as the development ran into trouble.

Ben Adams, cabinet member for learning and skills on Staffordshire County Council, said: “The early stages of the Scientia Academy build were blighted by extremely wet weather throughout most of 2012, and the snow and freezing conditions in January and March of 2013.

“With this in mind, we gave the school the option of partial accommodation at the new site or using temporary accommodation to meet additional need created by this September’s intake until the whole build is complete.

“After looking at the options, the school chose to occupy temporary accommodation. The school is extremely happy with the accommodation and it has been inspected by Ofsted, who has confirmed it to be suitable for educational purposes.

“The school will continue to use the temporary accommodation until the new building is completed and it can move in, causing minimum disruption to pupils.”

Construction company Seddon is the firm building the £6 million building and the initial sod-cutting ceremony took place last March.

The build forms part of the council’s plan to create an extra 1,000 school places in Burton over the next decade in a bid to cope with rapidly rising birth rates in the town.

Head teacher Yateen Bhoola said: “I want to give children, their parents and the community something different. The building will be spectacular in terms of design and lighting.

“We will also have sporting facilities including tennis courts and top-of-the-range ICT. We will also have a sensory centre and our curriculum will take a creative approach, trying to meet the needs of our children and of the community.”

The project includes the redevelopment of the adjoining bowls club facilities through a new bowls club pavilion.

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