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6th January 2014

Crest Academy

Staff and students at the new £37m Neasden’s Crest Academy in North London have buried an engraved time capsule to commemorate a major milestone in the project’s construction.

The burial was part of the ‘topping out’ ceremony, traditionally held when the uppermost point of a building is put into place, which was hosted by main contractor, Wates Construction, and was attended by London Borough of Brent Mayor, Cllr Bobby Thomas; Crest Academies’ Executive Principal, Phil Hearne; and architects from the designer Capita.

Students at the Crest Academies worked together to preserve a snapshot of the school today in the celebratory time capsule. Artifacts included school ties, letters from the pupils, photographs of the schools and a smartphone to show the importance of communication in the 21st century.

Work on the 17,800 sq m Crest Girls’ and Crest Boys’ Academies started in August last year and comprises four buildings - one for girls, one for boys and two central shared facilities.

Built alongside the existing school buildings, the new academies are set to open to students in time for the new academic year next September. Upon completion, the original buildings will be demolished making way for two multi-use games areas, which will also be available for community use.

Peter Whitmore, Business Unit Director for Wates Construction, Northern Home Counties and East, commented: “Today has marked a significant step forward in the delivery of the Crest Academies, which once complete will offer both staff and students an exceptional educational environment for 21st century learning. Building works must always bring benefit to the wider community and our site team has continued to work in partnership with Brent Council to create opportunities for local employment.”

Executive Principal, Phil Hearne said: “The new building marks a fresh start for The Crest Academies. Unique in Brent, we will offer single sex schooling, but in a combined Academy. Our new building, together with state of the art resources, creates a great opportunity to bring the Crest family closer together and to build better links with the community.”

Brent's Lead Member for Regeneration and Employment, Cllr. George Crane said: "I'm so delighted that we've reached this stage in the rebuilding of the Crest Academies. Not only will this project provide a great learning environment for students and create 300 much needed extra school places for Brent; the construction work has really supported local residents with employment opportunities and by spending money in local businesses.

"My thanks go to Wates Construction who have worked hard to ensure that this project provides benefits for the wider community as well as the staff and students of Crest Academies, who I am sure are looking forward to moving into their new building next year."

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