Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 15.43.09A TIME capsule containing a snapshot of school life has been buried for posterity as students mark the completion of a new academy building.

Staff and students at St Michael’s Catholic Academy, Billingham, chose a selection of items to be placed into an aluminium container to represent school life in 2016, which is set to be opened by pupils in 2086.

The capsule, which was donated to the school by building firm Kier, was sunk one meter into the ground in the main foyer of the new three-storey, state of the art academy building.

Built through the Government’s Priority School Building Programme, the new academy will open its doors to students in April.

Deputy head teacher Damien Kelly said: “The whole time capsule project has been student led and we are very grateful to our builders Kier for providing us with the container and digging the hole in which to bury it.

“Our new school building is just about completed and everyone is extremely excited about moving in.

“It will be a fantastic resource not just for our staff and students but also for the whole community.”

The 0.2 cubic meter cylindrical capsule, engraved with the quote “This is our present, this is your past, these were our joys, hopes and dreams – we hope your old school served you well,” was filled with St Michael’s memorabilia.

This included a school tie, jumper and pen, a book on the 50 year history of the school, a letter from the current headmaster Andrew Ramsey to the headmaster of 2086, letters from key stage 3 pupils to the students of the future and a crucifix.

The capsule also contained a video made by students depicting a day in the life of St Michael’s Academy, showing an assembly, lessons and highlights from the school’s

celebration of achievement awards evening.

Representatives from building firm Kier, St Michael’s students and staff, and officials from the Carmel Education Trust, including chief executive Maura Regan and Father John Butters, were all on hand to witness the historic burial.

“The only thing that is constant is change and the only force that civilises is education,” said Ms Regan. “That will still be the same in 70 years, as it is now and as it was in the past.

“This is a historic moment for St Michael’s as it enters a new future of education and I’d like to thank Mr Kelly for being the driving force behind the project and also Father Butters and the parish of The Holy Rosary for their constant support both in terms of engagement and financially.”

Student Sarah Brady, 16, of Billingham, added: “It’s been really exciting to see our new school grow from just a patch of mud to a fantastic new modern building.”