The topping out ceremony, which took place on Tuesday, 3rd November 2015, marks the progress of the first Primary School and Community Centre at Priors Hall Park, Corby. Guests at the event included Cllr Peter McEwan – Mayor of Corby, Cllr Tom Beattie – Leader of the Council, and representatives from the BeLa Partnership Ltd., Gotch Saunders and Surridge LLP (GSS), Watson and Cox (Construction) Ltd., Northamptonshire County Council and the Woodnewton Academy Trust.

In building construction “topping out” is a builder’s rite, traditionally held when the last beam (or its equivalent) is placed at the top of a structure during its assembly. The practice of “topping out” a new building can be traced back to the ancient Scandinavian religious rite of placing a tree at the highest point of a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits exiled in its construction.

The new two-form entry Primary School will accommodate up to 420 children, and will be operated by the Woodnewton Academy Trust. The Community Centre and Primary School are both set to serve the completed and future homes planned for Priors Hall Park, and are due for completion in the summer of 2016.

GSS have been appointed as Project Managers and Quantity Surveyors for the project. Partner Ian Bray said, “The topping out ceremony of the new primary school and community facility is an exciting milestone in its development, and is the point in the project when everyone involved can start to see the building taking shape.”

James Edwards, Marketing Director of Bela Partnership (the developers of Priors Hall Park) said “It’s an important milestone for us all and everyone involved (our residents, build partners and stakeholders) are pleased to see the place grow day by day.

The Primary School and Community Centre represent a key deliverable in our investment into public realm at Priors Hall Park and, when complete next year, will add greatly to the fabric of the neighbourhood”

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