Construction of two local schools reaches key milestone

Release Date: 12 October 2017

Construction of the newest secondary school in the borough and new facilities for a local SEN school, reached a significant milestone on Wednesday 11 October when a topping out ceremony took place.

The Richmond upon Thames School (RTS) opened this September. It is governed by The Richmond upon Thames School Trust, made up of partner organisations including Harlequins, Haymarket Media Group, Richmond upon Thames College, Achieving for Children and Richmond Council.

The school is part of the Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus.  And, whilst the building work is underway, they are based in interim accommodation inside Richmond upon Thames College.

Adjoining RTS will be Clarendon School’s Secondary Centre – a day special school for pupils with complex learning difficulties. The school is currently located in Hampton. From September 2018, a brand new, purpose built building on the Education and Enterprise Campus will provide facilities and teaching spaces specifically designed for the particular needs of the school’s cohort, including those with autism.

Just six months after the first sod of turf was cut to signal the start of the construction, a special ceremony has been held on the site.

Known as the ‘topping-out’ ceremony, it is a traditional construction milestone to mark the highest part of the structure being completed.

Guests from both schools invited to witness the occasion were asked to sign a piece of steel that will be installed into the roof of RTS.

In addition, the current year seven pupils from RTS were also invited onto the site and given a tour of their future school facilities.

The ceremony was organised by leading UK construction company Willmott Dixon, who presented each school headteacher with a commemorative trowel to remember the occasion.

Kelly Dooley, Headteacher of The Richmond upon Thames School, said:

“Our founding staff and students have been enthusiastically watching the building going up.

“Next summer we move to our new school and the future Year 7 intake will start secondary school in the school’s new building.  Our permanent building will enable us to further contribute to the excellent secondary school offer in the borough. Our co-location with a range of education and enterprise partners will continue to offer unique opportunities to students, staff and the local community.” 

John Kipps, Headteacher of the Clarendon School, said:

“Today’s ceremony marks an important step in ensuring that Clarendon’s pupils have the school buildings they deserve. Staff, pupils and governors can’t wait to move in, and are excited to be working with our friends and colleagues at RTS and across the partnership to provide both a learning environment that supports our curriculum and greater opportunities for our pupils to reach their potential.”

Roger Forsdyke, Managing Director from Willmott Dixon, said:

“We are proud to be part of such a fantastic project and working as one team, we are excited to deliver a building that will leave a lasting legacy for students, staff and people in the community to enjoy for many years to come.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Lyle Skipsey on 020 8487 5182. 

Reference: P475/17

Updated: 31 October 2017