Groundworks are on schedule at the new £60 million King's School campus, with the foundations now complete and the first steelworks to be erected during January.
Only three months after work started in September, two temporary roads have been put into the Alderley Road site with 120,000 tonnes of earth moved and 15,000 tonnes of clean stone laid. The team delivering the new campus, which is just 3.5 miles from Alderley Edge village, are on schedule for opening in the summer of 2020.
Dr John Kennerley, Chair of Governors at the King's School said: "We are delighted to see our '2020 Vision' for King's now emerging out of the ground. It will deliver not just a fantastic campus for our pupils, but enable us to develop further community use of the school beyond the 27 organisations that already use our facilities."
VINCI Construction UK Regional Director John Roberts said: "VINCI is a world leader in construction, employing around 190,000 people in 100 countries around the world. We pride ourselves onmanaging technically and logistically complex schemes. We all feel immensely proud to be working with a school with a 500-year-history and are aiming to create a lasting legacy for King's and for Macclesfield."
The state-of-the-art development will deliver for the 516-year-old Macclesfield school one of the largest estates of any independent day school in the UK, and the new build is one of the biggest ever construction projects seen in Macclesfield.
At the heart will be a 16,000m2 academic building with 350 rooms. The eco-friendly building will provide dedicated learning zones for Infants, Juniors, Seniors and Sixth Form pupils. Main features include a large central foyer, a grand hall, a recital and performance hall, two drama halls, 15 science laboratories and dedicated areas for Art, Design, Music, Humanities, Languages, Computing and STEM subjects. In addition, there will be a new Sports Centre, which will include a 25m swimming pool, a six-court sports hall, a dance/martial arts studio, a dedicated indoor cricket centre and a strength & conditioning suite.
Externally, five new rugby pitches, one rounders field, two AstroTurf hockey pitches and six netball courts will be created to complement the existing cricket and rugby pitches at the school's adjoining Derby Fields.
In December, the sale of the existing King's School sites to Homes England, Bellway Homes, McCarthy & Stone and Hillcrest Homes was nominated for 'Deal of the Year' in the North West Residential Property Awards. King's Headmaster Dr Hyde explains: "It was a complicated deal with the sales element covering two different sites and then the challenge of bridging the finance to allow us to build the new school before the final handover of sites on Cumberland Street and Fence Avenue."
Dr Hyde added: "We are extremely keen to ensure that our legacy is a positive one both for the school and Macclesfield in general. The development of a mix of sustainable housing close to the town centre will hopefully continue to bolster the attractiveness of Macclesfield as a place to live and support the many excellent new shops and businesses currently taking root."
Pick Everard is providing full design and engineering services for the development which is due to be completed in May 2020. Natalie Clemson, Associate Director at Pick Everard said: "As well as including fantastic educational and sporting facilities, the new building will be highly energy efficient and sustainable with a BREEAM rating of 'very good'. It will also score highly on environmental management, responsible construction, resource efficiency, low energy and water use with a reduced carbon footprint, as well as efficient heating and lighting systems and controls, among other sustainable features."
The King's School, which has 300 employees, provides education for 1,200 students from Pre-School through to Sixth Form.
Photos: King's Governors and Senior Management with VINCI personnel on one of the temporary roads overlooking the new site.
Pictured on the site of the main new school building are (from left) Martin Horton, Project Manager for Vinci, King's Director of Finance Jonathan Spencer Pickup, Chair of Governors Dr John Kennerley, Headmaster Dr Simon Hyde and Vinci North-West Regional Director John Roberts.
CGI of the new campus, opening in 2020.