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Press Release

Interserve successfully hands over £32m Leeds West Academy

by Interserve Press Office | Nov 17, 2011

Leeds West AcademyInterserve, the international support services and construction group, has completed a contract to design and build the new £32 million Leeds West Academy for Leeds City Council, delivered through Leeds LEP.

As well as providing a 21st Century learning environment for students, the new Academy is set to become a fantastic community resource, thanks to its 4-court sports hall, fitness suite, activity studio, theatre and extensive ICT facilities available for local people to use.

Now providing places for 1,200 pupils aged 11 to 16 and 300 for those over 16, the new school was built as part of the third phase of developments in the award-winning Leeds Building Schools for the Future programme. The Academy, sponsored by E-ACT, is designed around three hubs: Innovation, which houses science, technology, maths and ICT; Diversity, which accommodates all humanities, modern foreign languages and PE; and Communications, which is home to English, performing arts and creative digital media arts.

Interserve’s expertise in ground preparation was well highlighted during this project. With the site positioned on a raised terrace, and 20,000 tonnes of material required in order to level it out, the company carefully scheduled work in order to optimise hardcore made available through demolition at another Leeds school site on which it was contracted to work. This use of demolition material provided an environmentally friendly solution by negating the need to dispose of it. Piled foundations were then used to support the Academy building, which has direct external access to all three levels.

The development also showcases Interserve’s cross-group expertise: both Interserve Engineering Services and Interserve Site Services were deployed to bring the project to fruition.

With a concrete and steel frame substructure, the new Academy is rendered and partly brick clad, with additional rain screen cladding to some areas coloured green. The school features single, double and triple storey areas, with a flat roof. It has achieved a provisional BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and a Class A rating for energy efficiency.

Superior air tightness contributes greatly to the new building’s low energy use, and key to this are the double glazed timber and aluminium composite windows and aluminium framed coloured curtain walling. In addition, a biomass boiler, water-saving taps and energy-saving lighting all help to keep energy use down.  Interserve is currently demolishing the site’s old school and providing new sports facilities.

Interserve has delivered over £400 million worth of schools projects throughout the UK over the past two years, and has recently won two Passivhaus schemes to build Swillington School and Richmond Hill School, which are also in Leeds. In addition, the company is currently working on a unique modular building project at Leeds East Academy.

– Ends –

Additional Leeds West Academy notes for editors

The innovative and inspiring new facilities will include: £2 million devoted to new technologies to support teaching and learning, including over 600 new computers (on a 2:1 student to computer ratio); video and editing suites; combinations of PCs and Apple Macs using the latest Adobe facilities; and fully interactive classrooms to support group learning.

Facilities for community use include:

  • Four hi-tech IT suites and mobile facilities, part of the £2 million investment in new technologies to support teaching and learning.
  • Modern fully interactive classrooms.
  • A gymnasium and full-size climbing wall complementing a 4-court sports hall in the sports centre.
  • Fully-equipped science labs with external teaching balconies.
  • A professional theatre to support the Academy's specialisms, which include English and performing arts.
  • Spacious dance studio and sound system.
  • Exclusive Year 7 area to support pupils moving from primary to secondary education.
  • Music rooms with the latest technology.

For further information please contact:

Michele Curran 
Head of Corporate Business Development

Karen Lewis 
Edson Evers
01785 255146

About Interserve

Interserve's vision is to be the Trusted Partner of all our stakeholders. We are one of the world’s foremost support services and construction companies, operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. We offer advice, design, construction, equipment and facilities management services for society's infrastructure. Interserve is based in the UK, has revenue of £1.9 billion and a workforce of nearly 50,000 people worldwide.

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