Digging in for start of new school build

In Budds Lane, Bordon, leading figures have marked the first phase of building work on the new Mill Chase Academy school facilities, with a formal sod cutting ceremony on the new school site

Mar 13 2018

Mill Chase Academy Sod Cutting Hero
Equipped with spades fit to perform the task, were: Hampshire County Council’s Leader, Councillor Roy Perry, Mike Green Director of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Sue Samson, Chief Executive of the University of Chichester Academy Trust and Mill Chase Principal, Paul Hemmings. They were joined by Mill Chase Academy Head Boy, Jordan Kelly and Head Girl, Emily Morgan.

Councillor Perry led the proceedings, commenting: “Hampshire County Council has been pleased to play a significant and important part in the regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon. All along, we have recognised that a new school building, with all the potential that brings, would be pivotal to the quality and success of the whole development.

“We want this school to be a success, just as we are committed to helping Whitehill and Bordon be a success. I wish all those who will ultimately work and study in this new school the very best for a bright future.”

On behalf of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, Mike Green thanked all those responsible for getting the project off the ground and said: “We are very pleased to be a part of this scheme, working in conjunction with Hampshire County Council and the University of Chichester Academy Trust.”

Sue Samson added: “This is another important milestone on the journey for Mill Chase Academy to be an exceptional school in state of the art buildings. It has been a privilege to work with the County Council’s Design Team who have been amazing, taking on board the ideas of pupils, staff, and parents and including them in the plans for the new school building. This will be a school for the entire community and a legacy for future generations.”

“It is so exciting to be on site and to see work is starting on our new school buildings,” added Paul Hemmings. He continued: “High quality outcomes are rapidly improving for the children of our town. Last year we were in the top ten per cent of Hampshire secondary schools for students achieving the Government’s Basics measure. In eighteen months’ time we will have a fantastic educational resource and impressive learning environment for the town’s students which will allow us to raise standards even further.”

Also present at the event was Councillor Ferris Cowper, chairman of the Whitehill & Bordon Strategy Board, and East Hampshire District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon. He said: “The new Mill Chase Academy will deliver a first class education to generations of young residents in Whitehill and Bordon. The regeneration of the town is all about providing a better quality of life to current and future residents and a new school is an essential part of the plan. I am delighted to see construction has begun for this school which will make the town an even more attractive place to live and work.”

Organisations including Hampshire County Council and East Hampshire District Council, developers, Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and Homes England, have been working together to enhance the town and its essential local infrastructure. Relocating Mill Chase Academy to new, contemporary facilities, with the capacity to accommodate a growing school community, has been a central part of the Whitehill and Bordon regeneration plan

Sited to the north of what will be the relocated town centre, (in Budds Lane, Bordon), the brand new, 900-place secondary school buildings will be Mill Chase Academy’s new home, and are set to cost approximately £30 million to build.

The County Council is investing £10 million towards the total cost of building the new school facility. The balance of funding includes contributions from the Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company, Homes England, East Hampshire District Council, and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

As well as a broad and diverse range of teaching and learning spaces, the new school will incorporate improved sports facilities: including a flood-lit, all weather pitch and six indoor badminton courts.

Completion is due in summer 2019 to allow the Mill Chase Academy to move to its new home in time for the start of the academic year in the autumn term.