The Challenge:

Astrea Academy Sheffield is a new through-school for children aged two to 18 years old in North East Sheffield. The Grade II-listed former Pye Bank School building forms the primary school building, which will accommodate pupils up to Year 4. Year 5 and above are based in a new building across the road.

The listed building was left derelict for 14 years when staff and pupils of Pye Bank School moved to new premises and was in an extremely poor condition. The roof leaked; roof trusses, floors, and ceilings had rotted; birds were nesting in the roof. These all required repair while retaining original features and character.

The Solution:

Rotten floors and ceilings were removed, with 400t of internal scaffolding installed to prevent any lateral movement of the building. The roof’s rotten trusses were replaced or where only partially rotted, timber resin splicing was utilised to ensure high-quality, time-efficient repairs.

It was necessary to demolish some internal walls, including the dividing wall between the old ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ halves of the school,  to make better use of the space. Any stone removed was reused in building new partition walls for office space.

Six of the school’s original doors were able to be retained despite the building’s poor condition. Unfortunately, some features including the parquet floors were so badly damaged they could not be restored and were replaced with the closest possible match to the original wood.

The Impact:

The primary school was completed three days early, allowing Astrea Academy Trust to take possession of the school and move in ahead of schedule. The Trust was extremely happy with the quality of the project.

The site team managed to retain much of the school’s original character and features, such as stair railings, a fireplace, doors, and many of the original roof trusses; other features, such as the badly-damaged wainscot panelling, was reproduced and replaced to successfully preserve character.

In addition, Astrea Academy Sheffield’s primary school block was shortlisted in the Yorkshire and Humber RICS Awards 2019, in the Building Conservation category.

" What this project means to me is absolutely everything. I think, to see a Grade II-listed school, turned back into a vibrant school for the young people and children of our area is absolutely fantastic. "
Cllr Jackie Drayton Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Sheffield City Council

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