The Brief

Won through the Pagabo Framework, Sewell Construction was appointed to transform the former site of South Hunsley Primary School into a purpose-built teacher development centre, on behalf of The Education Alliance.

The Solution

The solution was to build an extension onto the existing school using a cross between a traditional and contemporary build with steelworks.

The project was split into three phases to minimise disruption as much as possible, especially since the site was still to be shared with staff and pupils.

Key milestones on the construction programme included:

  • Completing internal refurbishment and re-fitout of the existing offices
  • Completing the foundations and getting above ground
  • Completing the design works on the steel frame
  • Enclosing the building
  • Internal fitout
  • External works including carpark and landscaping

The Challenges

  • Logistical challenges around sharing the single access route to site with staff and visitor carparking, as well as single lane access in between two residential houses for all articulated vehicles
  • Developing the extension designs – the steel frame and entrance canopy were the only elements that had already been designed
  • Out of hours working – including school holidays, weekends, and night shifts to complete the internal refurbishment to the existing building
  • Making recommendations on the functionality and buildability of the build, including sustainable elements. This included changing the attenuation tank to a pump system and ensuring the building was compliant to DDA Standards
  • Value engineering to reduce cost – changing and simplifying the roof structure foundations, temp heating and proposing alternative methods for the carpark designs

The Results

The single-storey extension has created a larger, more flexible teaching space, with new open plan offices, two reception areas, and dedicated breakout areas for greater collaboration and a more relaxed, welcoming environment.

The kitchen breakout space is unique in that one side is built to standard regulations and the other is DDA compliant for greater disabled accessibility.

The breakfast bars allow for more seating and provides an additional space for the staff to go to work away from the classroom.

Externally, the purpose-built teacher training and development centre has a brand-new car park and two mirrored lobbies leading onto the two reception areas.

Other elements include:

  • Bespoke folding partitions to transform four classrooms into one big open space
  • BREEAM Excellence – 3.6 passive air testing achieved to ensure fewer heating requirements and less drafts inside the building. This is the highest score Sewell has achieved on a refurbishment
  • Robust fire stopping systems
  • Externally, we installed bird boxes
  • Part of the field was also used for the attenuation system and so that has now been reinstated with turf to sports standard