Grantham pupils get a sneak peek at their brand-new school

Representatives from G F Tomlinson and Wellspring Academy Trust with future Springwell staff and students

Future students of Springwell Alternative Academy Grantham joined Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson on site for an exclusive look at their brand-new school building. To mark the occasion, a commemorative brick engraved with 2019 was laid by the students near the school’s main entrance. 

Members of the Wellspring Academy Trust, school teachers and staff joined the children and G F Tomlinson for the behind the scenes tour and brick-laying ceremony to celebrate progress on the building of the school.

Located on New Beacon Road, the academy will provide learning opportunities for children and young people who are unable to attend mainstream schools due to social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) reasons.

Since starting works in August, the building’s steel frame, roof and windows have all been installed, and M&E installation and other internal works are progressing.

Once complete next summer, the academy will accommodate 61 pupils aged 4-16 and will feature specialised teaching spaces, an assembly hall, SEN (Special Educational Needs) therapy room, hygiene room, fitness suite, parents’ room and multiple use games area.

Ian Dalby, Framework Manager at G F Tomlinson, said: “This has been the first opportunity for the academy’s future pupils and staff to have a look at their new school. The project is progressing quickly inside and out so there has been a lot for the children to learn about the building and how it is being built. Witnessing the children lay the commemorative brick in celebration of the ongoing works made the day extra special and it was wonderful to have them on-site with the team.

“Moving schools can be daunting for many children so we hope this will only make them more excited to move in next year knowing they played a part in its construction.  We are working with the Trust to provide more opportunities like this as the project progresses including work experience placements and student tours.”

Following the brick-laying ceremony, members of the Trust remained on site with G F Tomlinson’s team to welcome local residents for a ‘Meet the Builder’ coffee morning, where project plans were discussed and residents were able to ask any questions about the future school.

Phil Willott, Executive Principal Designate, Springwell Lincolnshire, said: “Springwell Lincolnshire Learning Community is committed to providing the young people in our care the greatest learning experience, supporting not just the individual but the community in which the school is located.  Young people with SEMH and other barriers to learning deserve the opportunities and support in which to thrive and overcome these challenges.

“We have high expectations of our young people, which are appropriate to their needs. Having a state-of-the-art learning environment and facilities will allow the school to deliver a curriculum that meets the academic, social and emotional needs of our young people.

“Seeing the physical building take shape is fantastic and a very proud moment for the Academy and the local community. G F Tomlinson has worked extremely hard in delivering a building that meets all the specifications the young people of Lincolnshire deserve. I am excited to see the project progress.”

Josh Greaves, Chief Operating Officer at Wellspring Academy Trust, said: “We have been extremely pleased with the attitude and consideration of the G F Tomlinson team since works started on-site. It’s incredible to see our brand-new facility taking shape and the brick-laying ceremony marked a wonderful milestone, especially as it allowed some of the students who will attend the academy next year to take part. The academy will create life-changing opportunities for children once open and we look forward to watching construction progress.”

Springwell Alternative Academy Grantham is one of three alternative academies being built by G F Tomlinson in Lincolnshire for Wellspring Academy Trust through the Department for Education Construction Framework. Two further Springwell Alternative Academies are being built on Macauley Drive in Lincoln and at the former Monks Dyke Tennyson secondary school in Mablethorpe. The academies will create more than 180 places for students aged 4-16 once complete.