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Exciting bid list unveiled for academies job

Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Kier and Willmott Dixon are in the running for two South coast academy jobs after Southampton City Council received government approval to appoint a contractor.

Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Kier, and Willmott Dixon have submitted preliminary tenders for the first stage of the £35 million Oasis Academy scheme.

The second Oasis Academy will also be included in the package for the preferred bidder.

Oasis Community Learning’s academies opened their doors in September 2008 in Southampton, replacing four community schools after a city-wide review of secondary education.

The academies now split their operations between the old schools’ sites. The Southampton academies are two of 11 schools sponsored by Oasis Community Learning around the UK.

The city council’s plans will consolidate the academies on just two sites with new and improved facilities.

Oasis AcademyMayfield, worth approximately £15 million, will be located on one of its current sites in The Grove, Sholing.

The plan for Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill, worth approximately £20 million, is to relocate to Five Acres at Lordshill Recreation Ground.

Southampton City Council’s Building Schools for the Future and Academies director Karl Limbert said: “If the field of bidders is anything to go by this is going to be an extremely exciting programme.

“We will be pushing these companies for the highest quality designs. We expect value-for-money, sustainability and ultimately the best learning environments for the young people attending these schools.”

At the same time as the Academy projects, the city council is moving forward with its £200 million Building Schools for the Future programme.

This is set to rebuild or remodel seven secondary schools, improve ICT at a further three and revamp up to four special schools.

The city council anticipates this programme will go into procurement in the first quarter of 2010.