Category Archives: Pre-School

Planning Success for Grassroots Nursery

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Bedford Borough Council Planning Committee granted planning permission this week for a 24 place extension to a children’s day nursery in Hargrave, which is located on the Beds/Northants border. Grassroots Nursery has been given consent for a new 24-place single storey unit close to the original building, together with six new car parking spaces. Although one objection to the proposal had been received, the Committee decided that the case for the extension was acceptable.

This is the second time that PCMS Design has been involved with Grassroots Nursery. Back in 2013, we secured change of use for a residential dwelling located within the grounds of a farm into day nursery, and subsequently worked on the design, specification, procurement and project management of the build.

Nursery owner Kim How is delighted with the outcome of the latest planning application: “That’s fabulous news – PCMS Design are great at thinking through planning niggles/nuances.”

PCMS Shortlisted at the LABC Building Excellence Awards

Monday, March 19th, 2018

We are delighted to announce that PCMS Design has been shortlisted in the 2018 Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Central Region Building Excellence Awards.

We have been nominated in two categories this year – Best Public Service Building for a project to refurbish and extend the National Trust Estate Office at Ashridge Park, and Best Educational Building for our design and construction management of the new pre-school Building at Clophill St Mary’s School in Bedfordshire.

This is our seventh consecutive year of receiving a nomination and our team is really looking forward to attending the black tie Awards Ceremony in Milton Keynes on Friday 25th May. Category winners are put forward to the National LABC Awards ceremony in November.





Caddington Pre-School Officially Opens!

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

IMG_4228We were very pleased to attend the official opening last week of one of our pre-school projects in Caddington, near Dunstable. Bishop Peter Doyle from the Diocese of Northampton performed the ribbon-cutting duties at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.

Pupils, staff and governors were delighted to have the Bishop officiating, and he was genuinely impressed by the range of facilities on offer for children from the age of two years upwards.

Our building design includes a large multi-purpose playroom, with a separate kitchenette and office, and is able to run independently without need to use the welfare facilities of the school next door. An outside play space is also provided, part-covered with a canopy for wetter days. Up to 24 children can attend each session.

The project was completed on time and within budget. Headteacher Steve Chiswell said: “Everyone from PCMS were brilliant throughout, really cannot speak highly enough of you all, so thank you.”

Improvements at Raynsford Academy

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Wrap-around play and entrance canopy

We have recently completed a building improvement project at Raynsford Academy in Henlow. Our changes incorporated a side extension to an existing classroom so that the Reception class could be relocated, leaving a large internal space available for the local village pre-school. Our design also included reconfiguration of the central area to create separate WCs for the Reception class and Pre-School, with a shared group room.

A large new external play canopy has been installed to wrap around the building serving the Reception class play area, and it also creates a covered entrance to the Pre-School. Formed from powder-coated steel posts and Perspex, play canopies such as these are becoming an essential feature of all primary schools so that the curriculum requirement to provide external play can still be followed in all weathers.

Our design scheme has delivered additional space for the school with only a modest extension, by creatively re-designing the internal spaces and ancillary facilities. As part of the works, the existing car park was extended to create six additional parking spaces.


Bright WC Cubicle Design

Pre-School at Caddington nears Completion

Thursday, October 29th, 2015


PCMS Design is currently project managing the construction of a new free-standing pre-school building in the grounds of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Caddington, just outside Dunstable. Works are progressing smoothly and the whole project is on target for completion later this term, which means that the new pre-school will be ready to open for business in January.

The contractors have worked well, completing each stage in accordance with the project plan. A striking architectural detail is the zinc standing seam roof (see photo) which provides a hard-wearing and cost-effective alternative to concrete or slate tiles.

Upon completion, there will be a large multi-purpose playroom and associated facilities, together with external play space to fulfil the government’s curriculum objective of children being offered outside play every day.

“Our design team have experience of designing Early Years facilities and we have worked with the local authority, the school and the Diocese of Northampton to deliver this project,” commented Alex Bond, Project Manager.

Work Begins to Extend Clapham Pre-School

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

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Back in 2011, we designed and project managed the construction of a new building for Clapham Pre-School in Bedfordshire. The Pre-School currently provides 40 childcare places for 3-5 year olds in two large bright playrooms, with ancillary facilities such as a combined kitchen and staff room, office and laundry room.

Then in 2013, we were again asked by the Pre-School to secure planning permission for a large extension to the side of the building, the objective being to provide additional nursery spaces for 2-3 year old children.

We are delighted that building works have now begun, with construction administration being provided by PCMS Design. Princebuild Limited of Northamptonshire is the principal contractor.

Our design incorporates similar features from the existing building whilst continuing the interior design theme of bright modern colours, and there is also a feature corner window to provide clear views out to the green play area beyond.

The extension is due to be completed by the end of June, with new children starting pre-school shortly afterwards.

Brand New Pre-School for Leighton Buzzard

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

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Greenleas School in Kestrel Way, Leighton Buzzard is a thriving primary school in the middle of a still expanding residential development. Following a process that involved building design, planning liaison and construction management, we are delighted to announce that a new free-standing nursery building has just been completed on the school site.

The official opening ceremony took place on Friday 16th January, and the ribbon was cut by local MP Andrew Selous together with help from some of the teachers and pre-school children.

PCMS designed the new single storey building, specified the materials to be used and project managed the build. The building comprises a large play room with separate office, kitchen and WCs. PCMS also designed a canopy across the back of the building, which provides sheltered outdoor play space.

This is the latest in a series of projects that we have completed for Greenleas School, both at Kestrel Way and at the school’s other site in Derwent Road.

Both teachers and children are very pleased with their new home: “It’s great to have a new building which has been specifically designed with small children in mind; it incorporates safety features and is a wonderfully light and airy space to work and play in” said Headteacher Rebecca Clarke.

Planning Permission Secured for New Classroom

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

 Westfield Nusery School Logo - altered

We are delighted to report that Westfield Nursery School in Dunstable has just received planning permission from Central Bedfordshire Council to construct a new classroom. The 60m2 single storey extension will allow the Nursery to provide a new early year’s classroom for its expanding school roll. It includes a large playroom area with feature windows and double doors, integral storage, adult and child level sinks and adjacent WCs. A long external play canopy also formed part of the planning permission, and this will be constructed along two thirds of the back of the building.

PCMS has provided the architectural design and project management skills to assist the school in arriving at this point, and will continue to see the project through over the coming months. Construction works are scheduled to begin shortly, ready for the classroom to open in September 2014.

Clapham Pre-School Goes from Strength to Strength

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Back in 2011, we designed and project managed the construction of a new permanent home for Clapham Pre-School in Bedfordshire. The Pre-School currently provides 40 childcare places for 3-5 year olds in two large playrooms, with ancillary facilities such as a staff room with kitchen, an office and store rooms.

However in order to satisfy government guidelines for providing increased childcare places for 2-3 year olds, Clapham Pre-School approached PCMS again with a view to extending the building to provide an additional 16 places. During the earlier design process, space had been earmarked at the side of the existing building for possible future expansion, so we were able to recommend a large extension to provide enough space. A new 40m2 playroom can be provided, including a storage room and  WCs, with very little disruption or alteration to the original building.

Following our administration of the application procedure, we are pleased to report that the proposed extension has just received planning permission from Bedford Borough Council. This now enables the Pre-School Committee to move forward with their expansion plans, and everyone involved with the Pre-School is delighted.

Downside Pre-School Receives a Make Over

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Local Authority staff recently approached PCMS to plan, design and project manage a quick and cost-effective space reorganisation for Downside Pre-School in Dunstable. The changes that we designed to the layout of this mixed educational/community site meant that extra room was available for pre-school use.

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