Extension and Refurbishment

Newland School for Girls
Extension and Refurbishment
Esteem Consortium



Originally built in 1914, but used as a hospital until 1919 during WW1, Newland School for Girls had operated for 93 years. The original building was grade II listed and in major need of updating. In addition, some major new build facilities were needed, as a series of existing buildings were in various states of dilapidation. The local authority proposed a remodelling and refurbishment programme based on a budget process of cost per m rate. This was a very particular site, hidden away from residents but sitting in the heart of the University of Hull’s grounds.


Following extensive buildings surveys, it was evident that some existing buildings were not fit for purpose. We spent time learning the circulation of the school and the additional buildings were creating congestion, which resulted in a full master planning process alongside engagement with teachers, staff and the local authority.

The site team developed an early relationship with the university and, although the school didn’t have residents in close vicinity to the site, regular updates were distributed with the 24/7 helpdesk number should they wish to get in touch.

Environmental impacts of the scheme were considered throughout the construction, with tree surveys and protection carried out ahead of the works, alongside the installation of bird and bat boxes to protect wildlife. Deliveries and working hours were carefully controlled to minimise noise and traffic disruption. Demolition works were also scheduled out of university term time to avoid noise nuisance and any health and safety issues.

Our site manager remained at the school for an additional six weeks after handover to help during the first months of operation. We also helped the BBC with a programme on former student Maureen Lipman, coordinating their access to the site.

We provided free health and safety audits and fire risk assessments of the school’s temporary premises at Sir Henry Cooper School, as well as various media and ceremony events.


It was decided at an early stage to decant the school to Sir Henry Cooper’s old grounds ahead of the works. This was permitted due to the successful, timely handover of Thomas Ferens Academy and removed complex health, safety and logistical challenges.

A dedicated access was created, separate from the university, to avoid congestion and any potential health and safety issues.

Sewell utilised the existing STEM and dining block for site offices, which provided a better working environment for the site team and achieved construction delivery savings. One functional design solved multiple problems for the school while providing value for money solutions. This included the creation of a quadrangle, a four sided social area allowing pupils to transfer easily between buildings, and a new four court sports hall to enhance sporting opportunities.

The demolition of old buildings and the redundant design and technology block took place ahead of new building work. This was followed by excavations, foundations and pre cast flooring, ready for the new STEM block and sports hall. As the original building was grade II listed, some works were limited, but the risk was balanced with care and respect enabling new heating, lighting, power, repairs, floor finishes and superficial decoration. The old dining block was also refurbished.

We were also able to remove any redundant existing IT from the existing buildings and ensure all IT hubs and classrooms were prepared in good time for new installation.

With whole life costing and future proofing front of mind, both the new STEM block and sports hall were designed with potential expansion in mind. Materials with extended life spans, but which complemented the existing school materials, were specifically chosen across the campus.


The new build and refurbishment work was completed on time, on budget and with zero accidents. It included:

  • A state of the art STEM block
  • A newly built 4 court sports block
  • Atrium walkway from STEM block to existing building
  • Contemporary courtyard, collegiate in style, providing visibility and openness
  • Outer education space and a refurbished original building


Sewell Group worked hand in hand with the school’s senior team to develop an innovative, bespoke solution for Newland School for Girls. The remodelling has created better pupil flow between a series of buildings and seamlessly links the traditional characteristics with modern, complementary facilities.

Vicky Callaghan Headteacher, Newland School for Girls