Work is nearing completion at the new £44.7m Northampton International Academy building, ahead of the new school year.
Northampton International Academy is one of the largest school conversion projects in the country, transforming the derelict Royal Mail building in Barrack Road into a modern, 21st century school.
The project is being delivered by Northamptonshire County Council with funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the school is run by the EMLC Academy Trust.
The brutalist building has been innovatively transformed to provide up to 2,200 school places in the centre of Northampton. Facilities include a 400-seat theatre, four-court rooftop sports hall and specialist workshop and design classrooms available for out-of-hours community use.
The six-metre ceiling heights allow for mezzanine levels and double-height open learning spaces, while light shafts from the roof allow natural light to fill the atrium areas.
Northamptonshire County Council leader Cllr Matthew Golby said: “This is an important regeneration project for this part of Northampton which will create much-needed school places right in the heart of the town, alleviating pressure on existing schools.
“It has been a complex but exciting project and I look forward to seeing the pupils moving into their new school building this September.”
Joshua Coleman, chief executive of the EMLC Academy Trust, said: “We believe that every child deserves to be the best they can be, and the new state-of-the-art Northampton International Academy will provide the very best learning campus to enable our students to reach their academic goals.
“Specialising in foreign and modern languages, the school will provide facilities for vocational learning in engineering, building, construction and catering as well as modern classrooms fit for 21st century teaching.”
Northampton International Academy accepted its first students in September 2016 and for the previous two years pupils have been taught in temporary high-quality accommodation on site while the building is completed.
Northampton International Academy principal Tim Marston said: “The move into the permanent building is something we are really looking forward to, though what the last two years have shown us is that the pupils and the staff are what really makes NIA special.
“We have recruited an incredible team of staff for September and are oversubscribed for Year 7. The whole school community are ready for the next chapter in the story of NIA and eagerly anticipating the world class facilities.”