Construction underway on Rugby's newest secondary school - The Rugby Observer

Construction underway on Rugby's newest secondary school

Rugby Editorial 23rd Mar, 2020   0

CONSTRUCTION of Rugby’s newest secondary school is underway.

Work has officially commenced to transform the Grade II-listed Rugby Radio Station building into Houlton School, due to open in September.

The building was the hub of global communications in the 1920s, and was the source of the world’s first transatlantic phone call in 1927.

An artist’s impression of the heart of Houlton School, incorporating the Rugby Radio Station building.

Main contractor Morgan Sindall Construction will insert a new five-storey structure into the shell of the transmission hall, where the pioneering tuning coil used to be located.

The former power hall will retain original features and be converted into an assembly hall and canteen. Two additional teaching blocks and a sports hall will be built.

The new school’s auditorium.

The school will provide over 1,000 school places across six classes and a sixth form.

It is a joint venture between Houlton’s master developer Urban&Civic, Aviva Investors, Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and the Department for Education (DfE), and will be run by the Transforming Lives Educational Trust (TLET) which also runs Ashlawn School.

Richard Coppell, Development Director for Urban&Civic, said: “The opportunity to take a building like this, with its rich heritage and iconic stature, and turn it into a place to learn is fantastic. The community at Houlton are rightly excited.”

James Higham, CEO of TLET, said: “There has been an enormous amount of careful planning by so many in the lead up to this eagerly anticipated milestone moment.

“We are so privileged to be the latest custodians of such a nationally important building and we are excited to be able to start to see the school building take shape.”

Darren Eaton, Morgan Sindall Construction’s area commercial director, said: “With our national headquarters in Rugby, we’re well aware of the historical significance of the site.

“Transforming a listed building into a modern secondary school is a challenging brief, but one we are ideally placed to fulfil, and we’re incredibly pleased to get work underway.”

Houlton School is the second of four schools at the fledgeling neighbourhood, following the opening of St Gabriel’s CofE Academy at Houlton in September 2018.

Residents and prospective pupils can view a 3D model and artist’s impressions of Houlton School at The Visitor Centre in Dollman Farm, Houlton.

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