Our long-term project to extend and redevelop the site at Henlow Academy in Bedfordshire reaches its latest phase, with the addition of a new passenger lift to replace an old platform lift. This will enable pupils, staff and visitors with impaired mobility to access the first floor classrooms and facilities, and is a very welcome addition to the Academy site.
Also in this development phase was the refurbishment of the design & technology room and art rooms, refreshing the spaces and giving them a renewed lease of life. A new corridor leads to the Henlow Hub. Two existing rooms were knocked into one to create a larger library/hub space, with a moveable library shelving system to give more flexibility. The interior design scheme for the room combines the four colours that have been used throughout the extension and refurbishment of this block.
Nothing stays the same for long these days, and so it’s almost inevitable that at some stage, your school accommodation will need to either change or grow (or both!). Perhaps a forthcoming increase in the school roll means that additional classroom space is required, or improved facilities (new science labs or DT rooms, for example) are needed to help deliver the national curriculum.
Of course, you are getting on with the important task of running your school and teaching children, and so appointing an experienced project manager in conjunction with suitably qualified architectural designers at the very infancy of a site development project is key to its success.
PCMS Design is such a firm, and our expertise in this field is broad and deep. There are many ways in which we can add value. At feasibility stage, we can properly assess the potential of your building (against DfE guidance) and make recommendations as to how it can be cost-effectively and practically expanded and changed.
We will carefully guide you through all of the various stages involved in a construction project.
We understand the planning process, and have strong links with many local authority planning and building control departments. We will handle the procurement of suitable building contractors, the contract administration and detailed project management of the build.
Accurate cost control is obviously vital for public sector projects and this is a major benefit of using a project manager. And with our emphasis on sustainable construction, we will ensure that the build uses the best, most environmentally-friendly materials and has features such as renewable energy generation as standard.
In essence, using a project manager can save you time and money, ensuring successful and stress-free delivery of your school building projects.
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.
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.
Denbigh High School is well known throughout Luton; originally constructed in the 1930s, it has an impressive façade making it a local landmark.
The main entrance, however, was in need of modernising. We produced a design for the internal spaces that included installation of a new reception counter, refurbishment and extension of the main office, introduction of a new door opening for the head teacher’s PA and the creation of a dramatic modern entrance hall with tall glazed double doors and archway above.
The original entrance had distinctive dark timber antique panelling throughout. During the project, the contractor’s carpenters painstakingly removed, adapted and reinstalled the panelling in the refurbished corridor
The result is an impressive entrance hall in which to greet visitors, and improved office work spaces for staff. Staff at Denbigh, which is consistently rated ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED, are delighted with the alterations.
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.
Sections of the modular classroom are lifted into place
Denbigh High School in Luton has commissioned a number of different construction and improvement projects to take place, and builders are making the most of the six week summer holiday to make good progress. The School has an impressive main building which dates from the 1930s, but consequently it does need an ongoing programme of maintenance and development.
PCMS is currently managing four separate schemes: a refurbishment of the main entrance, an extension to the administration block, a new two-classroom modular unit and finally an extension to the front car park. Regular site visits are made to check on progress and answer any technical questions that the builders may have encountered.
Works are scheduled to be completed by the start of the new term in September, although the admin block project will take longer to finish due to its scale and complexity. We are looking forward to seeing the finished projects put to good use shortly.
Installation of the block and beam floor for the Administration block extension
Sometimes buildings have to be adapted to meet the particular needs of the occupants. One Bedfordshire school had a requirement to provide special facilities for a disabled child, which needed to include a shower, changing table and separate DDA WC.
Fortunately, PCMS Design staff have specialist knowledge in this area, and therefore were able to design a facility to meet the latest standards as set down in Disability Discrimination legislation. The layout and specification of the new facility complies with Building control and the relevant British Standard.
An area of the existing building was earmarked to provide the facilities, and work was largely carried out when the school was closed to minimise disruption. The School now has a dedicated changing and shower wetroom, which has a wipe-clean printed vinyl wallcovering in a bright colour and capped and coved vinyl floorcovering.
PCMS Design is delighted to have been appointed to work on two separate projects for the Chiltern Way Federation in Buckinghamshire. The first project is at the Wendover Campus, where we are overseeing a refurbishment of the Ramblers Block, a building previously used as a dormitory and vocational training centre, but now receiving a re-fit to provide tutor rooms and a common room area. And the second project is to provide a new shower block on the Prestwood Campus.
PCMS Director Alex Bond said: “Our previous experience of delivering projects for special schools is proving extremely useful, and we are very pleased to be working closely with Buckinghamshire County Council to achieve these improvements for the two schools in the Chiltern Way Federation.”
We are very pleased to have recently completed another scheme at Ivel Valley School in Biggleswade, our fifth for the School in two different locations. This time we project managed the refurbishment of an old Technology suite so that the space could be better utilised as a general purpose classroom.
Old tools and workshop equipment was removed and replaced with desks and storage cupboards. The teaching spaces and adjacent corridor were smartened up with new windows, doors and a lick of paint, and the School is now pleased to have a room for mixed use on a site where space is at a premium.