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Significant milestone reached as new school tops out

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Millside Tops out!

A topping out ceremony has marked a major milestone at a new £9.2m school in Nottinghamshire which will create vital school places for a village.

Millside Spencer Academy in East Leake is being delivered by Morgan Sindall Construction and is being designed, cost-managed and project managed by Arc Partnership, a joint venture between SCAPE and Nottinghamshire County Council.

Once the keys to the school are handed over this summer, it will provide 350 primary and 26 nursery places in the heart of the new David Wilson Homes housing development, The Skylarks.

Located on former farmland on Rempstone Road, the school is now taking shape with Morgan Sindall completing works to level the ground, followed by the installation of foundations and the erection of the steel frame. The first-floor planks, windows, doors and internal partitioning have now been fitted and the contractor is now turning its attention to the mechanical and electrical fixtures and external bricklaying and rendering.

The new school, which will be run by Spencer Academies Trust, is part of a £14m investment in education in East Leake, by Nottinghamshire County Council. The two-storey building includes 8 classrooms, a nursery, a library, a food-tech room, a hall and dance studio.

A number of pupils have already had a glimpse of life at Millside Spencer Academy thanks to a Temporary Learning Village, installed by the main contractor, which has provided facilities for up to 63 local children. Once the school is handed over, the cabins will be removed and used elsewhere to make way for the delivery of a new school field which will complement existing outdoor play areas.

As part of Morgan Sindall’s Intelligent Solutions approach, the project has utilised BIM (Level 2) during the design and delivery stages to provide clash detection benefits and greater programme certainty. The approach has also been adopted to achieve its net zero goals, modular builds were used for the construction of the TLV, which involves creating the property offsite in a factory and produces 45% less carbon than traditional methods.

Also through Intelligent Solutions, the contractor has focussed on its social value initiatives and has organised several school tours and university visits for undergraduate quantity surveyors from Nottingham Trent University. Within the community, the team has collected for local food banks and helped the school with the set-up of its forest school. Ukrainian refugees have also found employment on site through social enterprises Recycling Lives and Radiant Cleaners.

A further commitment for the contractor is its local spend with subcontractors within 20 miles, and its target of 30% has already been exceeded.

All of this additional effort away from site owed to the project receiving full marks from the Considerate Constructors scheme audit, which scores the main contractor against respecting the community, caring for the environment and valuing the workforce.

Current progress at Millside Spencer Academy

Morgan Sindall was appointed by Arc Partnership to deliver Millside Spencer Academy. The school builds on an existing strong relationship between the contractor and Arc Partnership after the successful joint delivery of Bingham Primary School in August 2022 and Rosecliffe Spencer Academy in May 2021.

The academy is also the fourth school which Morgan Sindall has delivered for the Spencer’s Trust, following Castleward, Highfields and Rosecliffe academies.

Sara Williams, head of pre-construction at Arc Partnership, said:

We are proud to be working in collaboration with Nottinghamshire County Council and Morgan Sindall to design and manage the project delivery and bring much-needed school places to the local community.
Supporting the council’s move toward low carbon solutions, the school has been designed to be Net Carbon Zero in operation. It will have high levels of building fabric insulation, and a range of sustainable features including an all-electric strategy, meaning no fossil fuel will be burnt on site and as the National Grid decarbonises, the carbon emissions associated with the building will reduce.”

Principal Sophia Thorne at the Spencer Academies Trust said:

The Millside Spencer community is amazed at the speed our new school building is progressing. These facilities - alongside our existing on-site Forest School area, dedicated staff team, supportive parents and inspirational children - will continue to make Millside Spencer a happy school where everyone can SHINE."

Richard Fielding, area director at Morgan Sindall said:

We are thrilled to mark the progress at Millside Spencer Academy with a topping out ceremony which highlights another significant project through Arc Partnership. We are delivering a school which will not only create vital pupil places, but also inspiring and modern learning environments which is integral to childrens’ learning. We will continue to engage with the local community through our social value initiatives and work towards our net zero goals as we near completion this summer.”


For more information, please contact Alice Lee at Influential, [email protected] / 07450 562 743