David Mackintosh MP was on hand to help Northampton International Academy mark a crucial milestone in its construction at a landmark topping out ceremony on Tuesday, December 22.
The event marked the moment when the stripping out of the former Post Office building in Barrack Road was completed.
David was joined by new Executive Principal of NIA, Andy Hardy, and representatives from EMLC Academy Trust, the sponsor of the new academy, and school improvement partner Third Wave Enterprises.
David said: “I am really pleased that this old disused building has been brought back into use in such a positive way. This is represents the kind of development we need to see more of in Northampton, where an old derelict site is redeveloped for the future benefit of the local community and the town as a whole.”
Work will now begin on the interior of NIA, which will include the latest state-of-the-art facilities and modern classrooms for interactive learning with the latest ICT and new technologies. Tennis courts, a gymnasium, full equipped music rooms, a theatre, science labs and dance and drama studios are some of the features pupils will enjoy when the work on the building is complete.
Jan Marshall, CEO of EMLC Academy Trust said: “This is an important milestone for NIA. Everything is on track to open our new school to the first cohort of students in September. Building work is happening at a pace, and is on schedule, we are recruiting dedicated and talented staff and local families are signing up for places at the academy.”
Northampton International Academy will offer pupils aged from four to 19 years the very best teaching facilities and will have a particular focus on foreign and modern languages.
Cllr Matthew Golby, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for learning, skills and education, said: “This is an exciting project that will regenerate a prominent derelict site and help us to meet the need for additional school places in Northampton. I am very much looking forward to seeing the project develop over the coming months.”
From September, up to 60 pupils will be able to enter Reception class and 300 pupils will be able to join Year 7. The academy will eventually grow by the year 2022 to take in 2,220 pupils – made up of 420 primary, 1,500 secondary and 300 pupils over the age of 16.
Duncan Mills, Managing Director of EMLC Academy Trust which sponsors NIA, said: “We’re delighted to celebrate this important milestone in the construction of Northampton International Academy. The Trust wishes to thank colleagues and partners at Northamptonshire County Council and elsewhere for bringing us to this point. Councillor Golby and David Mackintosh have supported us from the outset.”