BAM begins construction of new school building at Sunderland's Farringdon Community Academy

26 May 2023 - BAM has started construction of a brand new school building at Sunderland’s Farringdon Community Academy. A turf-cutting ceremony marked the start of the £35 million project, which will create a new building with state-of-the-art facilities, to help raise the aspirations of children at the school.

The new building will include state-of-the-art classrooms, including those specialised for more vocational qualifications such as Engineering, and Design and Technology.

The ground floor will incorporate an open-plan design with a large library facility, main hall and dining area. There will also be a new swimming pool and a specialist learning area adapted for vulnerable children and those with special educational needs and disabilities.

Mark Laidlaw, Project Manager at BAM, said: ‘It’s a great pleasure to be here today to celebrate the construction of this new school which will have no end of benefits for pupils here at Farringdon. Each classroom will have a lot of very modern equipment which will enhance the teachers' ability to teach a higher standard of curriculum and also enhance the learners’ experience.’

Farringdon Community Academy Acting Principal, Jordan Bedford, hopes the construction of a new school building will help to raise aspirations and ‘improve the life chances’ of children at the school. Speaking at the ceremony, he said: ‘I’m really excited to be here at this celebration of the construction of our new school. We are working out of a 1960s building at the moment. It has served its purpose, but there is a time that comes when everyone needs a new build. The new building is going to have state-of-the-art technology and we will no longer have to be working on a split site. We are over the moon that we will be able to open this new building for pupils by September 2024.’

Sunderland’s Mayor, Councillor Dorothy Trueman, joined the ceremony, to mark the start of the construction. Councillor Trueman said: ‘It’s very important to have new schools for pupils. As a child, I attended a school which was past its sell-by date and it doesn’t inspire people or give them that ambition and aspiration.’

BAM was also joined at the ceremony by Year 9 pupils Sienna Bogie and Thomas Newton, both 13, who will be moving into Year 11 when the new school opens.

Sienna said: ‘I’m really looking forward to moving into the new school building. I love sports and I’m excited about the new facilities. The new engineering rooms will be really good for people to get experience and get better grades.’

Thomas added: ‘I’m excited as the new school will have better facilities to help us with our learning and to have a better future.’