Ancient Viking tradition to be observed at Frederick Holmes School

An ancient Viking tradition will be observed at Frederick Holmes School to mark a key stage in the development of the new school.

Students, teachers and construction staff will attend a topping out ceremony to mark the completion of the highest part of the building. Project Manager Derek Nickolds, said:

“We’re really cracking on and it’s always a fantastic point in any build to be able to celebrate the topping out ceremony. It’s been fantastic for Sewell to be involved in the BSF project and I hope the staff and students at the school are as excited about their new school as we are about building it.”

The school is being delivered by Sewell Group, which is part of Hull Esteem Consortium – a tripartite partnership that also includes Hull-based Morgan Sindall and Robertson Capital.  It is one 26 schools in the city to be rebuilt or remodelled under the £400m Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme on behalf of Hull City Council.

Construction staff on site will celebrate the final steel beam of the new structure put in place on Tuesday. The school provides 85 places for pupils aged between 2 and 19 with severe physical disabilities and complex learning, communication and medical needs, many of whom have Profound Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD).

The topping out ceremony – a tradition that dates back to the days of the Vikings – marks the moment when the highest point of a new building is reached, honouring the construction team’s hard work and wishing them safety on the remaining development work.

The ceremony comes as demolition work is to be carried out on the old Oakfield School building which borders onto the Frederick Holmes site. And staff and students are only a few weeks away from being given the first glimpses of their new building at Frederick Holmes. Mr Nickolds said:

“There is something a bit different about this school which makes working on that little bit more special. The care they provide helps the people who really need it the most and it has been an honour to work on something like this.

“We’re going to be inviting the staff and teachers in shortly then when we’ve progressed the flooring and access we’ll get the kids in – as soon as we can we will. It’s such an important part of the schooling portfolio across the city but also the wider region.”

The roof of the building has been made 100 per cent weather proof and windows are currently being installed. Internal partitions are going up and the under-floor heating has been completed.

Sam Whitaker, chief executive of the Hull Esteem Consortium, said: “I would like to thank every member of the on-site team who has come together and worked tremendously hard to help build a fantastic learning facility in the city, contributing to the improved education of future generations.

“The build is looking fantastic and I have no doubt that the school will be an exceptional asset to the city. Hull Esteem Consortium is proud to be at the heart of regenerating Hull’s schools.”

Councillor Helene O’Mullane, portfolio holder for Children’s Services and the BSF programme, said: “Today sees another major milestone being completed in the BSF programme.

“I would like to add my thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to build this new school that will become a fantastic asset for our city and for all the young people who are taught here.”