Category Archives: classroom

School Development Project Completes at Henlow

Monday, October 15th, 2018

A significant school development project has just completed at Henlow Church of England Academy to the delight of staff and pupils. PCMS Design was involved from the very outset, taking the Academy from feasibility stage when we examined the potential of providing extra accommodation on site, through to pre-planning, detailed design and specification and then lastly the construction management of the project.

The new building provides a modern four-court sports hall with changing areas, and six classrooms in an attached block. Pupils will be able to benefit from a range of sports including netball, badminton, basketball, hockey and five-a-side football. A giant projector with screen has been installed so the school can use the hall for assemblies and other teaching events. The facilities will be available to hire by the wider community.

Six new humanities and language classrooms provide the latest in educational technology with interactive whiteboards in each. Creating a bright and comfortable teaching environment has been a priority; the classrooms have been designed to meet the space and facility requirements set out by the Department for Education and include fibre optic links, Wi-Fi coverage as well as the latest modern security and fire systems.

This £2.4 million investment in Henlow Church of England Academy’s site was funded by Central Bedfordshire Council and the Education & Skills Funding Agency. Site construction works were completed on time and to budget by Borras Construction Limited.

Head teacher Caren Earp is thrilled with the new facilities: “A big thank you to PCMS Design – with all of their support, design skills and project management expertise we now have a fantastic new building which is going to be of huge benefit to our children, increasing the number and range of opportunities for sport that we can now offer.”

Alex Bond of PCMS Design commented: “We feel very privileged to have been involved with this exciting site development project at Henlow Academy. Effective communication between the design team, local authority staff, specialist consultants, builders and their sub-contractors was the key to its successful completion, ready for the new school year.”

Some of the partners and suppliers involved with the Henlow Church of England Academy project:
 Curved standing seam zinc roof on the sports hall by VMZinc: www.vmzinc.co.uk
 Akusto Impact resistant acoustic panelling in the sports hall by Ecophon: www.ecophon.com/uk
 Sports hall floor installation by Dynamik: www.dynamiksportsfloors.co.uk
 External cladding to the sports hall by Kingspan: www.kingspan.com
 Performance spec for M&E installation  BSD Consulting Engineers: www.bsdconsulting.com
 Main Contractor: www.borrasconstruction.co.uk

 

New Modular Classrooms are Lifted In!

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

It was exciting last week to be present at the lifting in of a new modular double classroom unit at Maple Tree Lower School in Sandy. The classrooms have been constructed off-site in a specialist factory, which has considerably speeded up the construction and delivery time. From signing contracts with the modular company to installation on site has been a matter of weeks rather than months, and the two classrooms will be up and running towards the end of September.

The ‘bays’ arrive with many fixtures and fittings already installed including walls, doors and ceilings – many already finished off with their final decorated surfaces. Sinks, sanitary ware and WC cubicles are also fitted at the factory, along with external wall finishes such as cedar cladding. The bays are simply craned into position on pre-prepared foundations and bolted into place.

Weather conditions were perfect for the installation which all went according to plan. Head Teacher Cath Bainbridge was on site at the time, and was full of praise for the speed and efficiency of the installation: “These new classrooms will be used by our pre-school and nursery children, and I am thrilled by the quality of the finish, and how quickly you have delivered this project for us.”

Successful Bid for CIF Funding!

Friday, April 6th, 2018

On the last day of term, one of our academy clients received excellent news: Government funding has been granted for the construction of two permanent build new classrooms. These will replace an aging 2-class modular unit, and will form part of a large site development project which is currently under construction.

One of the services we offer is the preparation of CIF (Condition Improvement Fund) bids for academies and sixth form colleges for capital works. Bids can be made for projects such as new roofing, heating systems, windows and doors, and also for capital projects such as replacement or refurbishment of classrooms.

Bids to the Condition Improvement Fund are always over-subscribed and the priority is to address significant condition need, and particularly to maintain safe and healthy school sites. A strong case has to be made to the Education & Skills Funding Agency to guarantee success.

The next round of CIF bid funding for 2019/20 projects should take place this autumn, but we can offer advice on how we can assist with your bid year round. If you are an academy or sixth form college, please get in touch for further information.

Construction Begins at Henlow Academy

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

We reached an important milestone last week when members of our team made the first site visit to a new development project at Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire. This is following our successful application to Central Bedfordshire Council for planning permission on behalf of the Academy, to a building design we had produced.

Construction has begun on a four-court sports hall and new classrooms, which will form the cornerstone of a larger site development project. We have already overseen the construction of a link extension and internal alterations to the main building in 2017, but the Academy will benefit still further from the latest increase in sports provision and additional teaching space.

The principal contractor, Borras Construction, has made a start on foundation trenches with the first inspection completed by Central Bedfordshire Council Building Control. We are looking forward to seeing progress as we oversee the construction throughout the nine month build period.

Science Laboratory Refurbished

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Henlow Academy undertook a number of improvements to their site over the summer. These included a link corridor extension to improve dining facilities, and also internal alterations to a couple of classrooms and the science laboratory.

We were brought in at the beginning of the project by the Academy’s Headteacher, Caren Earp. Our involvement included preparing drawings, administering the planning application and building control process with Central Bedfordshire Council, creating the technical design and specification, and subsequently the procurement and contract administration of the builders.

The first floor science room refurbishment presented some interesting technical and logistical challenges. A specialist laboratory furniture company was brought in to design and install a new bench configuration to increase the workstation capacity. The gas supply to the lab was also upgraded.

A new bright coat of paint has completed the refurbishment scheme, and the Academy is now well-equipped to cover the science part of the curriculum in the future.

New Lodge Classroom

Friday, October 27th, 2017

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We have recently completed our second project on the site of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Caddington. The school was seeking to provide extra accommodation for some of the pupils as a break-out space. Our suggestion was a neat single classroom unit in the form of a timber lodge, with a simple internal space suitable for teaching smaller groups. Fit-out costs were kept to a minimum, and the building is kept warm with electric storage heaters, avoiding the need for expensive service connections.

In addition, the lodge is environmentally-friendly with the use of a timber frame, cladding and recycled building products, as well as low energy lighting. Construction firm JET Construction were respectful and efficient, as well as accommodating last minute requests from the client, creating a well-finished learning environment.

The school is delighted with the new lodge building, and is already seeing the benefits of having the extra independent classroom space.

New Pre-School Holds Official Opening

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

IMG_4712Parents and children were invited along to attend the official opening of a brand new pre-school building, which has just completed on the site of Clophill St Mary’s Lower School in Bedfordshire. PCMS Design has been involved in this project since its inception, working together with the school governors and management team on the design, planning application process, specification, tendering and finally the contract administration of the build.

There is a large bright playroom with kitchenette, plus a small admin area with office and store room. As the pre-school is on the site of a former Victorian school building, the design reflects some of those features with brick elevations and a slate roof, and tall feature windows at the end of the play room.

The official opening ceremony was attended by the Bishop of Bedford the Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, and staff are now preparing for the first wave of pre-schoolers.

Headteacher Karen Bingley said: “We were so pleased today to officially open our new pre-school building, which is a superb addition to the school site. PCMS Design has looked after the whole project for us, and assisted particularly in the later stages with contract administration. We now have a beautiful and well-designed building for our pre-school children, and the whole community will benefit from it for years to come.”

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Proposed Development at Henlow Academy

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

453-109 Rev B - 3D Visual_001Popular middle school Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire is looking to provide additional pupil places in the near future, and came to us to prepare a design and specification for an exciting site development.

A planning application has just been submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council for a new four-court sports hall with associated changing rooms and a six classroom, two-storey block. The sports hall will allow the Academy to substantially expand the range of sports on offer, particularly during the colder months, and will be a valuable addition to the local community because it will be available for sports teams and clubs to hire outside school hours.

As the Academy will be have a temporary increase in pupils over the next 3-4 years extra classroom space is required, and our design incorporates the latest in classroom technology such as interactive white boards, wi-fi connectivity and automatic light and CO2 sensors.

A considerable amount of consultation was carried out before submission of the application in order to iron out any potential design issues in advance.

We are hopeful for planning approval in September.

Classroom in a Month!

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

IMG_3554It can be surprising how quickly the installation of new classrooms can be turned around when the need arises. In the case of this Bedfordshire school, once planning permission had been secured, the instruction to proceed was given to a specialist modular contractor who took only a month from factory build to installation on site.

PCMS Design staff had visited the factory only a couple of weeks previously to see the seven modular bays being manufactured and fitted out, so it was satisfying to see them being lifted into position so quickly. Two classrooms each measuring 56m2 will be available, plus a 42m2 group room, WCs and storage. Quality standards have been maintained throughout the manufacturing process, and the resulting building will deliver excellent insulation properties and performance.

The modular option offers a cost-effective and quick solution for schools (or businesses) requiring additional space in a hurry.

PCMS Design Nominated for Two LABC Awards!

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Biggleswade Academy Classrooms Exterior #5We were delighted yesterday to hear about our nomination for two Central Region 2017 LABC Awards. LABC (Local Authority Building Control) organise the regional awards each year to recognise excellence within the construction industry.

Our nominations are in the categories of Best Public Service Building for Chinnor Community Pavilion, and Best Educational Building for a new 3-classroom block on the site of Biggleswade Academy.

This is the 6th year running that we have received a nomination, and follows our success last year in the ‘Best Partnership with a LA Building Control Team’ category when we won the Central Region Award.

Our team is looking forward to the Awards Ceremony on Friday 5th March in Milton Keynes, and keeping their fingers crossed for continued success!

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