The Brief

Kingswood Secondary Academy on Wawne Road, Bransholme, opened in January 2013 under Hull’s Building School’s for the Future (BSF) programme.

Initially built to accommodate 1,350 students aged 11-16, the demand for places at this high performing and heavily oversubscribed school has increased over the years, meaning a further 150 places for students was required.

Having worked with Hull City Council and its pre-procured framework delivery partner, Hull Esteem, on several improvements to the city’s schools over the years, Sewell Construction was appointed to carry out expansion works to meet the demand for additional places.

The Solution

The solution was to create a standalone, three-storey building to the rear of the existing school, that was to be built with sustainability in mind. It also needed to complement the existing school, both internally and externally, with a lot of the same features being used to create a seamless transition between the two buildings.

A phased approach was used:

  • Phase 1 – first section of carpark
  • Phase 2 – completion of temporary classrooms
  • Phase 3 – second section of carpark
  • Phase 4 – main extension

The main extension was built using foundations and a traditional steel frame structure.

The Challenges

  • Live environment – segregating the site compound from the existing school, as well as sharing access to site with Robertsons FM, deliveries, and other
  • Logistical challenges – extending and altering the main carpark whilst it was still in use via a one-way-system to minimise disruption as much as possible
  • Temporary accommodation had to be complete to a tight deadline to meet the immediate need of additional students
  • Main site compound – working within a small area with little space to lay down materials
  • Material availability due to the current market conditions
  • Dealing with the knock-on effects of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic

The Results

Creating a further 150 places for students, the new Russell Building maths department has 12 new classrooms, two offices, a new dining area and servery including indoor and outdoor seating, toilets and plant rooms.

Externally, 72 parking spaces have been created for cars, electric vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles.

Community engagement and social value activity

  1. Steel signing
  2. Topping out tours and filming
  3. Site tours for staff, students, and key partners on the project
  4. Career talks
  5. Regular engagement with the head teacher
  6. Specific familiarisation tours for the maths department – end users
  7. Repurposing of pallets – woodwork teacher taking them to upcycle and build studio props for the drama department etc.
  8. Basketball hoops donated to local charity
  9. Careers in construction hoardings – meet the team – showcasing various roles in construction
  10. Work experience opportunities
  11. Considerate constructors scores

Environmental impact

  • BREEAM Very Good Status
  • 116 solar voltaic panels
  • Energy monitoring systems in place to ensure design measures are working effectively and efficiently and suggest improvements based on actual in-use performance
  • Daylighting – restricting room depths to maximise use of natural light which reduces the reliance of artificial lighting for the majority of the day


It has been amazing working with you and your team on the Russell Building, and we honestly cannot thank you enough for what is a great end result for the children. We promise to look after it! And we just need to come up with another project now to get you guys back in soon! It just won’t be the same not having Sewell around the site this summer.

Richard Westoby Headteacher, Kingswood Secondary Academy