Work to start on �21m Norwich academy

A new era for education in the city will begin on Monday when work starts on the �21m City Academy Norwich.

The 18-month project to construct the new school on the site of the old Earlham High on Earlham Road will be kicked off with a humble earth-cutting ceremony.

The event will be attended by dignitaries from the academy's lead sponsors City College Norwich, co-sponsors the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich School and Norfolk County Council, plus students and other guests.

Building contractor Kier Eastern is scheduled to finish the work in time for the new building to open to students in September 2012.

City Academy Norwich opened in September 2009 in the buildings of the former Earlham High, and has already posted improved GCSE results.

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David Brunton, principal, said: 'These are really exciting times for the academy. Both the staff and students are exceptionally keen to see their thoughts and ideas about new learning being brought to life in this new building.'

Dick Palmer, principal of City College Norwich, said: 'The academy sponsors have formed an excellent partnership, together with Kier Eastern, to get us to this exciting point.

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'The start of this building work is a key milestone in making a reality of the inspirational vision for students and the Earlham community that we have set out for City Academy Norwich.'

Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children's services at the county council, said: 'This is a significant step and it is brilliant to see work getting underway.

'The plans for the new building are really exciting and will offer young people world-class facilities, which I am sure will further boost teaching and learning.'

The sponsors' vision for the crescent-shaped building is to provide an inspirational and flexible learning environment for the 21st century, which will incorporate the latest digital technology, be built to the highest environmental standards and will act as a resource for the local community.

Features of the building will include:

? A link to the UEA's environmentally-efficient heating system to reduce the new building's carbon footprint

? A glass-fronted, curved building with views through to Bluebell Plantation

? An atrium for dining, drama and lectures, with bridges connecting the upper classrooms

? An outdoor amphitheatre for performance

? A computerised e-wall in the learning and resources centre

? A large Faraday space for sciences and a science garden.

? Do you have an education story? Call Steve Downes on 01263 513920 or email

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