Willmott Dixon has been appointed for the £7.6 million construction and refurbishment of Exeter’s new Steiner Academy.

The team before work begins

The project, on Cowley Bridge Road, will see Willmott Dixon construct a 4,707 m2 two-storey facility alongside delivering a full refurbishment to Thomas Hall, the grade II listed building that was formerly a university hall of residence. In addition, the project will include construction of a separate hall and kitchen, six kindergarten classrooms, new car parks and landscaping of the grounds. Steiner Academy Exeter will open in September 2015 and accommodate 624 full time students aged between four and 16 years old.

Neal Stephens, managing director at Willmott Dixon in the South West, said: “This project is really exciting for us. It combines the heritage of the beautiful Thomas Hall built in the 1630s, with the modern vision of the new state-of-the-art school building. We’ve worked on a variety of projects in the education sector, but none quite like this. The site covers almost 13 acres of existing ground with more than 200 trees and lots of wildlife, including birds, deer and badgers. The complexities of working on a live environment will be a main focus for us with close liaison with the whole project team.”

“After 11 months of pre-construction, we’re eager to make a start and we look forward to working with the school and community to provide fantastic learning facilities for the students in Exeter.”

Alan Swindell, Principal of the Steiner Academy Exeter, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to breathe new life into this beautiful building and site. It will be a wonderful environment for children, with tremendous scope for us to develop those aspects of our curriculum that really come alive in the great outdoors.

Let's get started!

“An effective education needs children to be active, and an inspiring site like this invites active learning and imaginative teaching.”

The project is funded by the Educating Funding Agency and procured through the LHC framework.