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Foster and Partners has released these images to mark the start of building work on a new multimillionpound city academy in Peterborough.

The Thomas Deacon Academy, in the east of the city, will merge three existing schools to create an education facility for 2,200 pupils.

Specialising in maths and science, it will act as 'more of a university than a traditional school', with many lessons being replaced by lectures and seminars. According to the architect, the 18,200m 2 academy will be based around an academic and social heart that will accommodate a lecture theatre and resource centre with a ribbon of classrooms running around the perimeter. This will 'increase the external edge and maximise the potential to draw natural light and ventilation into the building'. A series of glazed 'showcase classrooms' will emphasise the building's specialisms and will operate across six 'zones' - akin to the traditional house system - functioning within the building.

Network study areas will encourage sixth-form students to integrate with younger pupils, act as role models and develop a strong sense of community. The main entrance will be located at the western end of the building, with an additional pupils' entrance to the north. Planning permission was received in August last year and completion is expected in September 2007.

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