Building work begins at The Boulevard: £10m school for Hull FC's former ground
BUILDING work is set to start on the city's first free school.
Construction workers have moved on to the site of former Hull FC ground, The Boulevard, to begin work on the £10m school.
The school, called the Boulevard Academy, is to take its first pupils in September.
The Boulevard Academy Trust has also appointed a principal designate.
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Andy Grace, currently working as an interim head at a school in the West Midlands, will officially begin his role on April 8.
He will try to visit the academy in between now and then to see primary schools and meet staff and the local community.
Carol White, a leading educationalist who led the bid for the Hull school, said: "From the point to view of the academy trust, this is enormously exciting.
"We now feel as though this is really going to happen.
"We recognise that BAM, the construction firm, has an incredibly tight project to plan in order to make sure the school is completed."
About 85 per cent of the school will be finished by September, which is when the first intake of Year 7 pupils will start.
The school will have just Year 7 pupils in its first year and will grow to eventually become a 600-place school.
Mrs White said: "It will be completely sufficient for the Year 7 children and will be finished by about this time next year.
"Parents can now see something is going to happen.
"That is important for parents and important for people who are thinking they might want to send their children to the school.
"This milestone also gives parents and families the confidence things are happening.
"What we will be doing over the next coming weeks and months is getting out into the community and visiting local primary schools so that people know it is actually happening."
The building to the front will be a two-storey construction and a boulevard, or mall, will run through.
The rear of the building will be a three-storey construction which is where most of the teaching will take place.
Mrs White said: "We want the school to be used not just for lessons, but as much for community use as possible, as well.
"So it is designed with that in mind.
"It has been designed to encompass the community use and also to fit in with the architecture of the local area, particularly in terms of using brick."
The school design is traditional in nature with construction
Outside, there will be sports pitches and a memorial garden where people who have had loved ones scattered over the Boulevard pitch, can visit.
Work will begin on the school once piling has arrived.
It was scheduled to begin this week but has been slightly delayed by the snow.
Mrs White said: "The snow should not delay it much.
"It really is full steam ahead.
"We want to encourage people who were thinking about the idea of sending their children here or liked the idea, to have a look.
"They will really start to see it rising up before their eyes now."
As a free school, The Boulevard Academy in west Hull is out of local authority control.
But, as with Hull's three academy schools, it will be managed as part of a coordinated approach to secondary school admissions by Hull City Council.
The free school will offer the English baccalaureate, a qualification to reward pupils who pass five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English, maths, one science, one foreign language and one humanities subject.