Kier, a construction and infrastructure services company, has handed over two Kent-based schools. Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School and Hartsdown Academy, were handed back to client, Department for Education, in time to welcome student back after the lockdown.
Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School is a 1,100-pupil capacity school, which provides 7,500m² of teaching space across a range of traditional classrooms and learning areas with specialist areas for art, science and technology. Kier is still onsite delivering phase 2 of the works which includes the demolition of the existing school buildings and the construction of a new staff carpark.
Throughout the project, Kier worked collaboratively with Kent County Council’s planning and heritage team to ensure that homage would be paid to the original school building which had stood strong for over 80 years.
Hartsdown Academy is a 1,000-pupil secondary school. Kier constructed a brand-new three-storey teaching block, installed pre-fabricated modular building and demolished existing buildings on site.
As part of the project, the Academy wanted to extend its science and music facilities, as well as expanding on support facilities for SEN students, students with hearing difficulties and those pupils reliant on ICT equipment for writing. To achieve this, Kier constructed specifically assigned SEN rooms and a hearing loop system; a specialised sound facility used by people who are hard of hearing. Additionally, there are now brand-new ICT spaces provided for students.
Richard Bysouth, operations director at Kier Regional Building London and South East, said: “We’re delighted to hand both projects over to the Department for Education and Kent County Council in time for schools to reopen on 8 March. Throughout the projects it has been a priority for us to support the local communities and we have been able to support a number of local people with employment and training opportunities, including five apprenticeships, and we have also worked with our specialist localised supply chain partners who are based throughout Kent.
“Working collaboratively with both the Department for Education and Kent County Council allowed us to deliver first-class learning facilities that will benefit pupils, their families and the local communities at both schools for years to come.”
Paul Pollard, Head Teacher had Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar School said: “We are delighted with our new school building and know that it will have a tremendous positive impact on both our students and staff.
“Throughout the process, from the hours pre-planning, design and FF&E, through to construction and completion, Kier offered constant support and guidance. Our Project Manager, Clive, was always available to answer our many questions and ensure we knew what was happening each step of the way. A build the size of ours can be very daunting when it is something so outside of our expertise, but Kier guided us through the process step-by-step, and we are very happy with how things have gone.”
Maureen Igoe, Business Manager at Hartsdown Academy said: “The whole build process received at Hartsdown Academy has been professional and the standard of work outstanding. Added to this Kier went out of their way to involve both students and staff from start to finish even offering work experience placements to several students.
“For the past 3 years the Kier team have been such a big part of Hartsdown and it has been a pleasure to work with them.”