A MILESTONE has been reached in the construction of Colchester’s newest school.

The £14 million Paxman Academy is currently being built in Paxman Avenue, at the former Alderman Blaxill School site.

It is set to open in autumn 2019.

When complete, the new secondary school will provide 900 spaces for pupils.

The three-storey building will have 20 classrooms, a library, a suite of science laboratories, technology workshops and a sports hall.

Outside there will be a new multi-use games area and grass sports pitches.

Barnes Construction was awarded the contract to build the new school earlier this year.

The academy will be run by The Sigma Trust.

The topping out marks a milestone in the construction process when the building becomes watertight and work moves inside to carry out the fit-out elements of the project.

Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education and skills, took part in a ceremony at mark the milestone.

He said: “I’m delighted to see progress of Colchester’s brand new secondary school and excited to mark this important milestone.

“We know the town is increasing rapidly in terms of population growth and this will inevitably have an impact on the number of children moving up from the area’s primary schools into its secondary schools.

“The hundreds of new places created at Paxman Academy will help us meet this demand and offer more choice to families in the local area.”

The Sigma Trust runs five other secondary schools and two primary schools in north Essex.

Later this year it is set to take over Philip Morant and The Colne schools.