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Off-site construction specialist, the Portakabin Group, has been awarded contracts by the Department for Education to rebuild two schools in the South East worth £8.2 million.
The projects for St Bede’s Church of England Junior School in Woking and Riverview Church of England Primary School in Epsom are part of the Government’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), which addresses the needs of those schools in the worst condition across the country.
Both buildings will be manufactured off site at the Portakabin Group’s production centre in York and will use Yorkon advanced off-site construction solutions to create outstanding environments for teaching and learning. The approach will also cut the build programme by half to the benefit of the children’s education and reducing disruption during construction.
Designed by Surface to Air architects, each school will have state-of-the-art education facilities to replace sub-standard accommodation in poor condition. The designs, which have been developed in close collaboration with teaching staff, will maximise natural light and ventilation, and feature two two-storey classroom wings. These are separated by a central ‘street’ which runs the full length of the building and provides good passive supervision and zones for informal learning.
Commenting on these latest contract awards, Steve Newell, General Manager at the Portakabin Group said, “We are absolutely delighted to be appointed main contractor for these two projects. The opportunity for off-site construction to help the Department for Education improve the standard of school buildings across the UK is immense, as these projects will demonstrate.”
“Our aim is to deliver education facilities of the very highest standards which are affordable, much faster to build and that radically reduce disruption to teaching during construction. We are also making excellent use of best practice architectural design and advanced construction technology, to create fantastic new buildings for current and future generations.”
Due for completion in time for the start of the 2016/17 academic year, Riverview School will have eight classrooms for its 210 pupils and a large double height dining and sports hall. The nursery, reception and year 1 classrooms will have designated play areas directly accessible from their classrooms for ‘free-flow’ play.
St Bede’s School accommodates 240 children aged between 7 and 11. Its original school building dates back to the 1930s and is now in a seriously deteriorating state. The new teaching facilities will include eight classrooms, a multi-purpose hall, and new hard and soft play areas. All year groups will have designated play spaces around the building, with easy access to encourage outdoor play and learning. The orientation and design of the building will help to create the best possible natural lighting for all the classrooms.
Following completion and occupation, both of the original school buildings will then be safely demolished by the Portakabin Group.