Essa Academy

Procuring Authority:Bolton Council

Academy Sponsors:The Essa Foundation and Bolton Council

Design & Build Contractor:Kier

Architect:Sheppard Robson

Project Value:£16.5m (+ £1.3m ICT)

Pupil Numbers:900 (11 to 16)

Gross Floor Area:9,185 m²

Project Type:100% new build

Completion Date:September 2011

Awards:2012 Chamber of Commerce - Greater Manchester Building of the Year (finalist), 2012 BCSE Best of British Schools Awards – Excellence in Design for Virtual Learning, 2012 Education Business – ICT Facility Award

Essa Academy was the first academy to be developed in Bolton and is led by a visionary Principal who has some of the most innovative strategies for teaching & learning that have ever been implemented in the UK. The project was originally allocated 88% new build funding and Kerrie Norman (acting as PfS Project Director for the project) instigated a procurement strategy that enabled a 100% new build scheme to be delivered within the original funding allocation. By developing a deep understanding of the teaching & learning philosophies of the scheme and a methodical approach to testing that the building design would work on a practical basis, Kerrie’s overall approach helped to enable a truly spectacular building to be delivered. The architectural design features a graduated approach to outside, unheated and fully internal central spaces and integrates technology within every learning space. Essa Academy is now at the global forefront in using technology to support teaching and learning and is attracting international attention for how technology is used within their innovative learning environments.