Topping Out Ceremony

On 12th October the weather thankfully held as parents, students and supporters of Route 39 Academy gathered in the early evening for the Topping Out Ceremony and celebration at the new school site.

Around 300 invited guests joined staff from Willmott Dixon for the traditional Scandinavian ceremony in which, in order to appease any spirits disturbed by works, a yew branch sprinkled with wine, oil, corn and salt would be placed on top of the building when it reached the highest point of construction.

The event was invitation only to thank all those supporters and members of the Route 39 family who have stuck with us through thick and thin and they gathered in force to watch Ed Wilson of Willmott Dixon, Principal Kelly and the Student Leaders offer some words of welcome.
Operations manager Ed Wilson spoke of the building itself and its legacy as a community project as he stated, “ Building lives less ordinary is where we create a legacy for the community within which we are working.  The Building itself can be seen as a legacy, built into the hillside with the backdrop of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and inspirational views looking out across the bay making learning more relevant and meaningful. I am pleased to say that to date we have hosted 334 pupil visits, where we showcase the building and promote construction as a career and had 5 apprentices working on the project growing career experience and a skilled workforce in the area. Our team is committed to continue this excellent work to ensure the building is the best it can be for the students, staff, parents, governors and the local community.”
Principal Jordan Kelly then spoke of the ‘Journey’ that Route 39 has been on from its beginnings to this milestone event with all the peaks and troughs along the way.
He continued; “The ethos at Route 39 has never been to stay still and has always been to push the boundaries of innovation. As the students will tell you this can be taxing but is always rewarding.  To be able to design a building around an educational philosophy is rare and exciting. Rather than premises creating boundaries for provision, we are about to embark upon a new era where our staff will be supported by the building and site in developing the academic and social skills of our students.”
He was followed by Head Boy Mackenzie King and Head Girl Madeline Winters who jointly thanked the supporters for coming with us on this ‘Journey’ and shared some humorous anecdotes about coping with some of the limitations of the current temporary site before looking ahead to the future; “Whilst we’ve seen a lot of changes over these past years, there are many more to come. New facilities, new subjects and new students.”

After all the warm words the Student Leaders, Principal Kelly, Chair of Governors Richard Bence and Willmott Dixon representatives were lifted on a platform to the highest point of the building to complete the ceremony.  This was followed by refreshments and tours for the enthusiastic attendees as we took in the scale and facilities of the new school which we are looking forward to enjoying from September 2018.
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