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State-of-the-art Appleton Academy is officially opened as Bradford College building is ‘topped out’
6:23pm Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
Jason Pink, BAM construction manager looks on as Lord Mayor of Bradford, Khadim Hussain, signs the concrete slab
Education and training in Bradford has been boosted by key developments at two leading local institutions.
The half way stage of a £50 million rebuilding project at the Bradford College campus was marked by a topping out ceremony on the roof of the new state-of-the-art building, which replaces the 1960s Westbrook building and is due to open its doors to students in a year’s time.
Following the college event, the new Appleton Academy at Wyke was officially opened. Both ceremonies involved Dr Ingrid Roscoe, Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.
Guests at the topping out signed a large concrete slab, which was hoisted into place by a giant crane. The three tonne slab was one of a pair used by lead contractors BAM Construction to cap off the new building’s lift shafts.
Three commemorative oak saplings will be planted on the site once the building is complete as part of the landscaping – and the college is running a competition to name the new premises.
Michelle Sutton, Bradford College group chief executive, said the ceremony was an important landmark in the progress of the project, which was on schedule and on budget.
She said: “We’re on track to get the keys for the new building next July and accommodate students from September 2014. It marks the half way point of the rebuild project, which will provide us with a 21st century building to accommodate modern teaching methods with state-of-the-art facilities.”
“Bad weather prevented us from laying a foundation stone, so we decided instead to adopt an old Scandinavian tradition of topping out the new building to celebrate its progress.”
The rebuild is part of overall plans by the college to invest around £100 million upgrading its facilities and extend Bradford’s Learning and Cultural Quarter.
Other projects include investment in the two college academies, Appleton and Samuel Lister, the Studio School and a global film school set up in partnership with a leading Asian film training company, Whistling Woods International.
The Westbrook building, which opened in 1965, will be demolished.
Appleton Academy is housed in a new £24 million state-of-the-art building, catering for pupils aged from three to 19 and specialising in science and sport.
It replaced Wyke Manor and High Fernley primary schools and opened its doors in November.
It includes an indoor climbing wall, a 30 metre external traversing wall, a floodlit AstroTurf sports pitch, an outdoor fitness trail, dance studio, fitness gym and a 330-seater auditorium.
Dr Roscoe formally opened the new site at a ceremony attended by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Khadim Hussain and Richard Wightman, chairman of the governors and other guests.