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VIDEO: Groundbreaking ceremony held to mark start of Burnham Grammar School rebuild

Sixth-formers broke ground to mark the start of Burnham Grammar School’s (BGS) rebuild project at a ceremony on Friday.

Head boy Akin Akinlabi and head girl Ella Flynn, both 17, ceremonially broke ground using two shovels, while speeches were given by BGS headteacher Dr Andrew Gillespie, Beaconsfield MP Joy Morrissey and Jonny Wates, director of construction company Wates Group.

The development will see a three-storey building constructed, housing a host of new spaces, including an activity studio, sixth-form social area and a sports hall.

Following its expected completion by summer 2021, the existing buildings are set to be demolished, making way for new outdoor sports facilities and sports fields.

Speaking at the ceremony, Jonny Wates said: “It’s really going to impact a lot of people, a lot of families and the wider community as well, and the world is changing so quickly out there so how we prepare young people for a world that’s changing is really important.

“The least we can do is provide great facilities for everybody.”

Addressing the crowd, Mrs Morrissey said: “It’s wonderful to be here looking to the future for our education and I hope you will come back and visit once the school is completed and you can say we are the first ones to break ground on this wonderful project.”

Dr Gillespie said: “It’s been a real pleasure working with Wates and Mace and the team at the Department of Education over the last 18 months to bring a design to this point where we are about to build.

“It really will transform the way that we learn and transform the way that we work.

“The last thank you actually is to a group of alumni and a group of parents who this has been funded through two grants, the Conditions Improvement Fund (CIF) and the Priority Schools Building Programme 2.

“The Conditions Improvement Fund (CIF), to get that grant, to have a successful bid, we had to raise an awful amount of money for the school contribution to it and we had a really committed set of parents, of alumni, of governors and staff who worked on that campaign in 2014 and it’s a direct result of that campaign, that we are able to start building work now on a programme which is far far bigger than we ever envisaged.”

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