Rushey Mead is the first school in the second phase of the successful Leicester BSF (Building Schools for the Future) programme.
Chris Webster, Chief Executive, Miller Construction, was delighted to invite Councillor Vi Dempster, Assistant City Mayor and Cabinet Lead for Children, Schools and Families, Leicester City Council; Rachel Dickinson, Strategic Director for Children, Leicester City Council; Matthew Parris, Deputy Headteacher, Rushey Mead School, and Sarbjeet Binning, a student at Rushey Mead, to join him in creating a ceremonial brick, to mark the occasion.
The topping out was commemorated by an ancient Persian ritual, believed to be 500 years old, in which symbolic elements are added to a concrete pour to ensure the prosperity and success of the development.
Chris Webster, Chief Executive, Miller Construction, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event to celebrate the progress being made at Rushey Mead School. Rushey Mead is the fifth school to be undertaken by Miller as part of the successful Leicester BSF programme.
“Four new schools have already been delivered through the BSF programme and are bringing many benefits for learners, staff and the local communities they serve. Today is not just about marking the progress of the new school, but a celebration of the strong partnering relationship we share with Leicester City Council and of our joint ambition and vision to deliver leading learning environments fit for the 21st Century.”
The £16 million design and build project, due for completion in May 2013, involves remodelling and a major rebuild of the school campus. The new school, built on the existing playing fields, will benefit from 8,600 sq m of new build, a six court sports hall and enhanced teaching facilities.
Councillor Vi Dempster, Assistant City Mayor with responsibility for Children, Families and Schools said: “This has been a very exciting week, last Monday we celebrated the progress being made at City of Leicester and Crown Hills Community Colleges and now we are at Rushey Mead where we can see the amazing progress that has been made. The BSF programme in Leicester City is already delivering results for our young people and with the next 15 schools coming on line over the next 18 months we are transforming opportunities for learners across the City as well as creating employment opportunities”.
The Persian ritual consists of a number of different elements being added to the ceremonial brick. Councillor Vi Dempster was invited to begin proceedings by adding wine, representing fertility and wisdom; Rachel Dickinson then added oil, to preserve liberty at the school; the corn was added by Matthew Parris, to enable the property to ripen in abundance - representing the continued success of Rushey Mead and its staff and learners as they move into their new school. Chris Webster added salt, illustrating Miller Construction’s hospitality and the purity of their partnership with Leicester City Council. Sarbjeet Binning, student at Rushey Mead, added the Yew branch to complete the ceremony.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from Leicester City Council, the school governors, staff and pupils; Miller Construction and Leicester Miller Education Partnership.