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.
Parents 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.”
Following months of preparation, our team was very pleased yesterday when Central Bedfordshire Council’s Development Management Committee granted planning permission for the construction of a four-court sports hall with associated changing rooms, and also six new classrooms over two storeys at Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire.
This is a notable achievement for the Academy, which is seeking additional space to accommodate a temporary increase in pupil numbers over the next 3-4 years. It means that Phase II of the Academy’s site development programme can now go ahead. Phase I, which included a new link corridor and refurbishment works to several classrooms, was carried out this summer.
In addition to the sports hall, which will allow the Academy to substantially expand the range of sports on offer to pupils and the wider community, there will be improvements to the on-site car park, school bus bays and nearby public highway.
We are now looking forward to working with the Academy on the project management of the next stages, with a view to the classrooms being in operation for the 2018 academic year.
Popular 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.
Planning permission has just been granted this week for a new free-standing community classroom block on the site of Hatfield Community Free School.
School staff appointed PCMS Design when realised they needed a building close to existing playing fields to serve as additional classroom space, and also to provide some shelter and changing areas for the adjacent pitches. Our feasibility process identified a suitable site, a concept design was approved, and we negotiated with the Planning Department at Welwyn Hatfield District Council to iron out a number of planning issues prior to permission being granted.
Care has been taken to design a building which reflects that of the existing school, which was constructed 5 years ago. The wish is to proceed with construction as quickly as possible, in order to provide much needed classroom space.
Aylesbury Vale District Council has this week granted planning permission for one of our Buckinghamshire educational clients. We applied on behalf of Oakley Primary School for consent to create a more presentable and secure main entrance for staff, pupils and visitors, improve the internal layout of the school office, and construct a new head teacher’s room.
Part of the scheme receiving consent at the same time includes external improvements to create a new footpath entrance for children and parents, and also to extend the staff car park.
PCMS Design hopes to move swiftly on to the technical specification, ahead of procuring suitable building firms on behalf of the school to carry out the construction works.
Over the summer, PCMS Design has been working on a local project for Chinnor Rugby Club, which is based in Thame, South Oxfordshire.
The club has teams of all ages that play in both local and national leagues. There is a clubhouse building that acts not only as a team pavilion, but also has a popular bar and two function rooms which are hired out for events and functions. However, the managing committee had a real desire to improve the clubhouse to create a new welcoming entrance and stairway, a larger refurbished kitchen and also space for a club shop and store room.
The PCMS Design solution was a two-storey front extension which incorporated a new steel and glass staircase alongside an impressive entrance with double height windows and modern glazed entrance doors. As well as taking the club through the design and planning process, we carried out the contract administration and made regular visits to site to check on the progress of the construction firm, Classic Builders (Watlington) Ltd.
Ready just in time for the 2016 Autumn season, the clubhouse is now eminently presentable for visitors and club members and the new kitchen has already enabled the catering offer to be expanded.
Club President John Ashfield said: “Thanks to PCMS Design and all their design and project management experience, we now have a much improved clubhouse. Alex and his team were invaluable in helping us see our project through to completion on time and within budget.”
Our project to deliver a new 3-classroom block at Biggleswade Academy in Bedfordshire has completed on time and within budget, opening last week for the start of the new school year.
Everyone involved has received praise for the transformation of this part of the school site, which formally housed a disused outdoor swimming pool and a modular unit. We have seen this project through from inception to completion; our involvement began at feasibility stage, when we produced concept designs for a free-standing building, and progressed through planning, tendering of a construction firm and contract administration. The principal contractor was Neville Special Projects of Luton.
The new building features a zinc-covered barrel shaped roof and off-white rendered walls. The interiors are bright and colourful, with acoustic wall and ceiling panels adding visual interest whilst helping to absorb excess noise. There are specialist facilities for the children too, including a changing/shower room with floor hoist. Each classroom has been provided with its own separate entrance, and outside there are play areas with Perspex canopies and a pencil fence in primary colours.
Deputy Principal Shelley Flynn said: “Our project had tight timescales in order to be ready for pupils and their teachers this September. PCMS Design were invaluable in managing the project process which, along with their superb design skills, has delivered a great building. The Academy now has a modern, well-designed classroom block that everyone is proud of.”
As the extension and improvement project at Chinnor Rugby Football Club that we designed and are managing reaches the half way point, we visited site to see the concrete stairs being installed with the assistance of a mobile crane. Part of the existing roof had to be removed to allow the stairs to be lifted in. This will be replaced shortly, and the extended areas will have aluminium roof sheeting fitted.
Building works have also progressed well on the interior of the building, with both electricians and plumbers busy on the heating pipework, refurbished WCs and the new, larger kitchen.
And whilst all the building work has been going on, the Club has still managed to operate as usual with adult pre-season team training sessions, touch rugby and even the hosting some functions for sponsors and members.
The extension and improvements are due to be completed by September.
In what has been – for PCMS Design at least – a busy month for planning applications, we have recently heard that Luton Borough Council has granted permission for a single storey extension to one of the administration areas at Denbigh High School.
The original building is constructed from red brick with distinctive arched windows. Our design for the extension, which is sited in a ‘Quad’ area at the rear of the building, had to take this context into account. There is also a modular unit temporarily sited in the ‘Quad’, so this will be removed prior to construction beginning.
The flat-roofed extension will deliver an additional 90m2 of floor space and provide a large open-plan office, two separate meeting rooms and a small deliveries room, together with some additional storage space. Construction works are scheduled to begin shortly.