Topping out for £40m secondary school

Harris Academy Sutton, topping out
Topping out: (l-r) Deputy Council Leader, Jayne McCoy and Council Leader, Ruth Dombey, at the Harris Academy Sutton topping out.

Published Wednesday, 30th January 2019

Harris Academy Sutton is a UK first for ultra-low energy

A topping out ceremony has marked a major milestone in the construction of a spectacular £40m* school academy on one of the UK’s most important regeneration sites.

Harris Academy Sutton will move into a unique, energy efficient building in September 2019, as part of the £350m London Cancer Hub (LCH) development.

The ultra-low energy “passivhause” is a UK first for a school.

The location will place a special emphasis on the sciences, with opportunities for students and staff to collaborate with medical research and leading clinicians.

Sutton Council leader Ruth Dombey joined with fellow councillors, civic leaders, academy staff, council team and building contractor Willmott Dixon on Wednesday January 30 to celebrate this landmark event.

Councillor Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said: “Clearly there is still some work to do on what will be the first passivhaus secondary school in the country - but the building is now watertight and I am sure that progress will be swift from here. 

“I am thrilled that the building will be ready for existing and new pupils on time this September and would like to thank all those involved including the Willmott Dixon team, the team at the London Borough of Sutton and Harris Academy Sutton in working together so well to make this project a success.”

Sutton Council is the school developer, and the land owner of the Cancer Hub site, a  regeneration partnership with The Institute of Cancer Research. The hub will house more than 275 scientists including cancer biologists, medicinal chemists, pharmacologists, clinicians, data scientists and evolutionary scientists discovering new drugs to defeat cancer.

The new Harris Academy Sutton opened in temporary accommodation on the site in 2018. Since then, the education team has built links with London’s top universities and medical schools in preparation for the 2019 opening. The links will ensure students have better access to the unique opportunities open to them at the London Cancer Hub.

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* £40m is the standard construction cost (capital building costs, contingency etc.). The total budget for the project, including land purchase and TfL undertakings, is set out in the Strategy and Resources Committee report here.