The Portakabin Group and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) have reached contract award on the first school in the Surrey and Kent batch of the Priority School Building Programme, in an agreement worth £5.6 million.
The contract follows the Portakabin Group’s appointment as preferred bidder for seven infant and primary school schemes, which will be worth in the region of £28 million and delivered using a Yorkon off-site solution.
The first project is a new 480-place school for Pyrford Primary School in Woking which will be constructed and handed over in time for the start of the 2016/17 academic year.
All seven projects in the Surrey and Kent batch have been identified by the EFA for delivery under the Priority School Building Programme, which addresses the needs of those schools in the worst condition across the country.
Designed by architects Surface to Air, the building for Pyrford Primary School will provide 16 classrooms for two forms of entry. The design of the two-storey modular scheme will significantly increase the external space and access for outdoor play and learning, and allow high levels of natural light to create a welcoming and bright internal environment for teaching in line with the EFA’s stringent requirements.
The project is a challenging redevelopment on a constrained, rural site immediately adjacent to the existing school. By using the largest Yorkon modules, the Portakabin Group will halve the number of units required for even greater efficiency. Each module will weigh up to 20 tonnes and will be craned into position from an adjacent cricket pitch in just seven days over the Easter school holidays to avoid any interruption to teaching.
Commenting on the project, Kathryn Krynicki, Head Teacher at Pyrford Primary School, said, “We are really excited that this building project is now a reality. Our existing 1960s school building is dilapidated and beyond repair. The Portakabin Group has been brilliant and we have a strong relationship with the site team and lots of engagement so far.”
“We are looking forward to seeing our new building being manufactured in the factory in York soon and we can’t wait to have the facilities up and running for the start of the new academic year.”
Simon Ambler, Director of the Portakabin Group added, “We are delighted to be able to demonstrate our ability to deliver high quality, affordable school buildings to faster programmes to the benefit of children’s education. The opportunity for off-site construction to help transform the learning environment for thousands of pupils and their teachers under the Priority School Building Programme is immense.”
As main contractor, the Portakabin Group will be responsible for all elements of this three-phase project including the off-site construction and fitting out of the main 2,318m2 school building, construction of a steel-framed multi-purpose hall, asbestos removal, demolition works, landscaping, and car parking. To minimise on-site work during school term time, the Yorkon modules will be pre-installed with a high performance concrete floor with excellent acoustic qualities and a robust, highly durable finish.
The project will involve detailed logistical planning for the cranage phase and the transfer of all furniture, books and legacy equipment from the old building to the new school in time for the start of the academic year. The original school building will then be removed by the Portakabin Group. An existing children’s centre and nursery on the site will remain in use throughout the redevelopment, further demonstrating the flexibility of off-site construction.