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Merchants Academy opens in Bristol

30 October 2008

A team from Capita Symonds’ Bristol office provided project management services on the new Merchants Academy in Withywood, South Bristol which will cater for 1500 students aged between 11 and 18.

Built around an impressive central courtyard, the school comprises seven academic buildings with state-of-the-art technological facilities. Designed to have a campus feel with plenty of internal and external space for students, the site also boasts an all-weather sports facility and amenities for an Army Cadet Force unit - both of which will be open to local young people outside normal school hours.

Capita Symonds worked in conjunction the sponsor - the Society of Merchant Venturers - and their retained professional team of Penoyre and Prasad; Buro Happold; Dobson White Boulcott; and main contractor Cowlin Construction and their architect - AWW Architects; to complete the project ahead of programme and under budget.

Pictured (l-r): Nick Hood, Master, Society of Merchant Venturers; Professor Rosamund Sutherland, University of Bristol; Jamie Harwood, Project Manager, Cowlin Construction; Stephen Kings, Principal, Merchants' Academy; John Wormald, Director, Capita Symonds; Denis Burn, Chairman, Merchants' Academy.

Stephen Kings, Principal of the Merchants’ Academy, said: “This is a very exciting time for us here in south Bristol. Having taught for 14 years at Withywood Community School in the past, it means a lot to me to come back and be part of something so new and innovative. The building was designed specifically to deliver our vision of providing an active but personal approach to education, and I’m happy to say that it has exceeded our expectations. We look forward to providing the level of education that the young people of the area deserve, in an environment in which they can thrive.”

The building was designed specifically to deliver our vision of providing an active but personal approach to education, and I’m happy to say that it has exceeded our expectations.

The Academy is independent of local authority control and is co-sponsored by the Society of Merchant Venturers and the University of Bristol.