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.”
It 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.
We were delighted last week to hear that planning permission has been granted by Bedford Borough Council for a new two classroom modular unit to be located within the grounds of Shortstown Primary School. This School serves a community just to the south east of Bedford. A growth in pupil numbers has resulted in a shortfall of teaching space, and so the modular unit will be used to boost the number of classrooms available.
Our bespoke design created a simple form and layout for the unit, which has a footprint of just under 200m2. There are centrally located facilities, including a separate room for smaller teaching groups or meetings and WCs. The appearance will be enhanced with horizontal natural cedar cladding.
School staff are really pleased with the positive planning outcome, and are presently engaged in finding a contractor to construct and install the bespoke unit which will be ready for occupation this Spring.
Another successful educational project was handed over earlier this week, when a two-classroom modular unit was completed on time and within budget. The new classrooms are at Ivel Valley, a special school located in East Bedfordshire for children with moderate to severe physical impairment and special needs.
Once contracts had been signed, the whole build and installation took only 12 weeks. Opting for modular units not only helps with limited budgets, but also offers a quick turnaround for sites that need additional accommodation in a hurry. Modern modular units comply with all the latest construction regulations, and can even be disguised to look like a permanent building! This particular unit has attractive stained timber cladding. There is also flexibility inside; our bespoke design includes not only the classrooms but also a hygiene/changing room with shower, storage space and two individual group rooms. The classrooms each have an interactive ‘teaching wall’.
Ivel Valley’s Head and teaching staff are thrilled with the new two-classroom block, and are already putting it to good use.
PCMS Design is currently working on a number of projects for Ivel Valley School in Biggleswade, and construction work has just begun on a new two-classroom modular unit for which we created a bespoke design. Once we had administered the planning application and building regulations plan approval process, we assisted the school with procurement of suitable modular manufacturers.
Modular ‘bays’ are pre-assembled from panels in the contractor’s factory. Windows, doors, internal walls and floors are all put together in advance of site delivery. This enables the construction timetable to be far quicker than a conventional build, and also keeps costs down.
Our designers paid a visit to the factory this week along with client representatives to see how manufacture was progressing, and everyone was impressed by the speed of production. On-site preparation works have begun; we will visit the school again shortly to watch the pre-formed modular ‘bays’ being craned into position.
We have worked on a number of projects for Hadrian Academy in Dunstable, but the latest happened in double-quick time!
We made a planning application to Central Bedfordshire Council on behalf of the school for the installation of a modular classroom unit – the school was seeking a quick response, as they hope to have the new out-of-school classroom ready to use at the beginning of the new school year this September.
Permission was helpfully granted by Central Beds within just 5 weeks, which has enabled the school to move forward with modular suppliers to source and install the classroom. This should happen over the summer holidays.
We can offer advice to anyone thinking about seeking planning permission for a dwelling, business or public sector organisation.
PCMS Design was delighted to be present at the Grand Opening of Hadrian Academy’s brand new modular classroom building on 26th September 2013, a project which we completed and handed over in time for the new school year to begin.
After the school was granted Primary School status, Hadrian Academy had to move quickly to accommodate the temporary increase in pupil numbers, and a handsome new building, housing two new classrooms, has been installed in the school grounds.
Great news this week for Hadrian Academy in Dunstable, which has successfully received planning consent for a new two-classroom modular unit on site.
The Headteacher and Governors appointed PCMS for the project to provide additional space for the increase in pupil numbers that will occur as the Academy moves towards primary status from September 2013. In addition to the classroom designs, we prepared a planning submission and followed it through to the Committee stage, where the scheme this week received the go ahead from Central Bedfordshire Council.
Work has recently been completed on a modular classroom unit at Fairfield Park Lower School in Stotfold, Hertfordshire.
Pupil numbers are steadily increasing due to housing development in the surrounding area, and PCMS was asked by the Headteacher to come up with a sensitive solution to an immediate problem: how to cater for another classroom of children quickly and on a restricted budget.
When Bedford Borough Council offered Footsteps Nursery the opportunity to move to a new location they jumped at the chance. The only proviso was that it had to be achieved in just six months before the start of term in September and this included obtaining planning permission, removing an old modular unit, and designing, constructing and fitting out a new building.