MORE than £7m will be spent on a state-of-theart new sixth form centre at Featherstone High School in Southall.
Building work has begun on the site in Montague Waye, which will be heated using the latest energy-saving technology and constructed with cutting-edge environmentally friendly materials.
It will take about 51 weeks to build the three-storey centre and underground car park, which will be home to hi-tech science and IT facilities for students at the high school.
Among the green devices being used in the building are ground source heat pumps, which use pipes drilled 100m into the ground to access the Earth's natural energy and supply it to the building above.
Headteacher Thelma Cox said: "The local community has waited 18 years for the sixth form to be returned to the school. The new building will provide a well-resourced environment for all young people in the area."
Tony Barry, contracts manager for building firm Rock said: "The new teaching centre at Featherstone High School will not only be a stunning looking building but it will also be incredibly energy efficient.
"Using so many innovative construction techniques and materials, such as the ground source heat pumps, gives us some fascinating logistical challenges.
"I am confident that when completed the centre will be truly class-leading in every aspect."
Two facades of the building will be clad with a special material designed to minimise energy losses, while the green roofs to the classroom wings will provide thermal efficiency as well as intercepting rain to reduce flash flooding, thereby helping to improve the quality of the urban surroundings.
A central atrium will boast an air-cushion roof - also aimed at maximising light and conserving energy.
Rok is also supporting the high school by giving health and safety talks with the pupils this term and its staff recently took part in mock-interview sessions with students to help them gain valuable experience of the workplace.