Select & Atkinsdeliver new schoolin just 22 weeks

Select Building Solutions, working in partnership with Atkins and Servaccomm, have handed over a new primary school in Salford, Greater Manchester, just 22 weeks after work commenced on the brownfield site.

Select Building Solutions, working in partnership with Atkins and Servaccomm, have handed over a new primary school in Salford, Greater Manchester, just 22 weeks after work commenced on the brownfield site.

Using a unique hybrid precast and steel volumetric design, work on the new St John’s CE Primary School commenced in late February/early March and completed on 18th August 2014.  Enabling and ground works, including concrete floor planks supplied by Bison and a steel frame for the hall, took seven weeks, volumetric accommodation was installed in just four days, and fit out and commissioning took up the remaining 13 weeks.

With Salford’s baby boom creating high demand for primary school places in Salford, the eight classrooms, main hall, ‘learning street’ and supporting facilities making up the complete one-form entry school will be a very welcome addition to the educational resources of the area.

The eye-catching new structure is clad in natural larch, matching the location which is bounded on three sides by Lightoaks Park. The offsite volumetric construction strategy is highly flexible, and the school’s spaces have the potential to be reorganised easily at a later date if required, without causing disruption to the structure.

“This project is the latest success story in our offsite volumetric programme with Atkins”, said Neil Strangeways, Select’s Building Solutions Leader. “The design provides large, flexible space through the centre of the building that can allow for flexible teaching during the day, and usable community space out of school hours.  It provides a sense of safety and security, and creates a family environment flooded with light and air. It’s also been sustainable throughout its design and construction, with a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating. In just a few months, we’ve transformed an unused site into a valuable space that will be at the heart of the growing local community, and have already received positive initial feedback from our client and local planners.”

Graham Hogan, Group Architect for Atkins said “A key aspiration for St John’s was to make the new school as flexible as possible, in the short and long term. This would allow the school to organise itself and deliver the curriculum in a variety of ways, unimpeded by the building layout. As the curriculum and the way that learning and teaching evolve over time, the design can accommodate rearrangement of spaces to suit, without causing major disruption to infrastructure.“

The school is the second modular solution Select have provided in the area, following the completion of nearby Lime Tree Primary school in April of this year. With an acute shortage of primary school places and a lack of funding to provide new accommodation to meet the increasing demand, Select’s modular solutions provide a viable alternative to more traditional methods of construction, delivered in a fraction of the time, at a much lower cost and without compromising quality.

“We’re extremely proud of the product and we’re delighted that the children and staff at St John’s have a brand new school to enjoy”, said Paul McNerney, Select’s Business Unit Leader. “The quality of the building is excellent and we believe our product provides a real affordable solution not just to Salford, but to the entire education sector which is seeing ever-increasing demand for additional places”.