Historic panels placed in academy

Principal Colin Simkins looks over the plans for the new Aspire Academy buildings with pupils Nathan Sarjantson and Lewis Palin
Principal Colin Simkins looks over the plans for the new Aspire Academy buildings with pupils Nathan Sarjantson and Lewis Palin

Blackpool’s newest school is fast taking shape.

These pictures show how the new home of Aspire Academy and Highfurlong Special School is taking shape on Blackpool Old Road.

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

The £14m development will house the secondary school (the merged Bispham and Collegiate schools) and the special school on the former Collegiate site.

John Topping, deputy principal of Aspire Academy, said: “Our brand new school is really looking good and taking shape. We are all working hard to develop what will be a beautiful brand new building for generations of Aspire Academy and Highfurlong pupils.”

Building work suffered a setback as asbestos was found by contractors demolishing the old Collegiate buildings, prompting fears of a 13-week delay.

But work by contractors Carillion plc, and the Education Funding Agency, means this has now been reduced to seven weeks, with pupils expected to move into the school in October.

The new facilities and furniture on the three floors will be great

School bosses say news of the delays, and catch-ups have been shared with pupils and parents, along with the latest pictures of the site.

From September, teachers will be taking small groups of pupils to visit the site and see the finishing stages of the buildings which children have said they are looking forward to making their new home.

Aspire Academy pupil Lewis Palin, 13, said: “The new facilities and furniture on the three floors will be great.

“I am looking forward to spending my last two years in a brand new school.”

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Work to fit the original stained glass panels from Blackpool Grammar School into the new school building has now been completed.

Mr Topping added: “All the students and staff are delighted the panels are relocated in the main front partition wall between the dining area and the Learning Resource library space. This commemorative piece of Blackpool history will be for all students and visitors to see and enjoy.”

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road

Construction work on the new Aspire Academy buildings, Blackpool Old Road