Northampton International Academy buries time capsule to mark final end of £46million building project
It has taken nearly three years but a £46million Northampton school marked its official full launch today.
After a three-year renovation project that saw builders still on site even when pupils arrived earlier this year, Northampton International Academy has celebrated its official opening.
Staff, pupils and governors gathered at the school in Barrack Road today (June 24) to bury a time capsule to mark the occasion, which will be dug up in 50 years time.
Headteacher Tim Marston said: "The building is an incredible privilege to have. But it's not the building that makes this school special It's the young people and the staff working together to do so much positive work.
"Soon we will have hundreds more children at the school running and playing across the very spot this time capsule is buried."
The academy is the result of a £46million conversion project to renovate to derelict Royal Mail Building in Barrack Road.
But the project - which is the largest of its kind - attracted some controversy in the past three years work. It ran £11million over budget and workmen were still on site when it marked its grand opening in September 2018.
Now, all builders have left the site, and the academy hope to fill all 2,200 school places in the next five years.
Leader of Northamptonshire County Council Matt Golby - who also held the education portfolio when the project was approved - told the Chronicle and Echo: "It was 2014 when we first started but it feels absolutely incredible to be here today.
"We needed a large school in Northampton centre to meet demands I remember trying to describe to the media back then how the architects would transform the building, but we're here today and you can see all the incredible work they've done.
"Now to see children here as well is just amazing. There were some challenges along the way but we always tried to think about the positive changes the school would bring."
The time capsule - which will be opened on June 24, 2069 - holds a school tie, four school house badges, a letter to the future and a copy of today's Guardian newspaper.
One student, six-year-old Manahil Naima, who helped bury the capsule, said: "I'm really excited for the children in the future who get to open it who could be part of our school.
"I think in the future everything will be a lot greyer and we will all be barefoot."
It comes after the academy was named one of the "boldest" buildings of 2019 by the Royal Institute of British Architects, and praised Architecture Initiative for their work on the formerly-Brutalist sorting office.