St. Anne's School and Sixth Form College celebrates traditional 'topping out' ceremony

East Riding of Yorkshire Council celebrated a key milestone in the construction of the £20.3 million St. Anne’s School and Sixth Form College and supported housing project with a traditional 'topping out' ceremony.

'Topping out' ceremony

The topping out marks construction company Tilbury Douglas completing the steel frame, and reaching the highest point, of the breakthrough development in Hessle.

When complete, the special education needs (SEN) school for children and young adults with severe learning disabilities will give pupils and staff access to a modern learning environment to support the 158-strong student cohort’s learning and development. There will also be 11 residential units offering support to parents and students over the age of 18.

The new school has been designed to accommodate the growing needs of both pupils and the local community and it will be tailored to meeting and exceeding the needs of modern school education provision.

In addition to the new single-storey school there will be a separate three-storey affordable housing scheme for adults with social care needs, which will be split by a spine wall. Appleton Court will provide 36 one-bed apartments and 8 two-bed apartments and will offer independent living with access to 24-hour on-site care and support.

Construction began in late 2020 on the project and so far the earthworks and foundations have been completed, as well as the steel frame of both buildings. Drainage to the building is currently being installed, along with concrete slabs to the school and the supported housing. The roof is near completion with external walls being constructed and windows to then be installed. The project is expected to be complete and handed over in early 2022.

St. Anne’s headteacher Lesley Davis, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Andy Hazell and Neal Beckett and Tilbury Douglas’ Paul Ellenor signed the steelwork to mark the completion of the frames of the new buildings.

The ceremony was conducted with full compliance to COVID protocols, with numbers limited to a group of six and social distancing measures maintained throughout.

Councillor Richard Burton, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "It is incredibly exciting to be able to celebrate the extraordinary progress of this innovative project and the achievement of Tilbury Douglas’ fantastic construction team. The surplus council owned site provided an ideal opportunity to meet two of the council’s strategic aims at once: a new location for St Anne’s and additional affordable housing for adults with social care needs. Appleton Court will provide much needed supported housing for people to rent at an affordable rate from the council, helping to promote independent living for adults with a range of care and support needs.   

“It is clear what an exciting and much needed project this is and I’m delighted with the progress made to date as we aim for opening in early 2022.”

Lesley Davis, headteacher at St Anne's School and Sixth Form College, said: "The school, sixth-form college and residential short-break provision in the new development will enable our children and young people to continue their education and social care journey in an exceptionally well-designed state-of-the-art building.

"Staff and governors have worked closely with the council’s infrastructure and facilities building design team, on the detailed design of this important complex and look forward to continuing to do so along with Tilbury Douglas as the building continues.

"This is a very exciting project and one that I am proud to be involved in. I am sure that our staff, governors, and parents will agree that this is a very welcome development and we all look forward to relocating to our new building in about a year’s time. We aim for it to be a centre of excellence for special educational needs education in the East Riding of Yorkshire."

Paul Ellenor, regional director at Tilbury Douglas Construction, said: “We are delighted to be working with East Riding of Yorkshire Council to deliver the St. Anne’s School project, building on our strong education portfolio within the Yorkshire region. The new school will provide improved specialist facilities for students and an enhanced learning environment.

“At Tilbury Douglas, we are committed to investing in the communities in which we live and work, and we are ensuring that local people benefit from this construction project, through local spend and the creation of new employment opportunities.”

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