The Challenge:

The mill and coach house were originally built in the 1800s and are Grade II-listed; the coach house was derelict, with holes in the roof and water damage, but the mill was in good condition and had most recently been used as office accommodation for the NHS.

The project was split into two phases; phase one was handed hand over in time for the sixth form to open in September 2019, and comprised of the basement kitchen and dining area, as well as ground and first-floor classrooms, break-out spaces, and a library. Phase two was handed over in March 2020 and provided additional classroom space, break-out areas, a lecture theatre, the coach house, and neighbouring new build sports hall.

An old mine shaft was also found on site, located where the sports hall was to be built, requiring additional works to ensure this was properly capped and safe.

The Solution:

The mill building had an open plan layout following use as an office; new flooring and partition walling was installed to create large classrooms. The windows for each classroom had previously been able to open to their full extent; in line with guidelines, the windows were restricted from opening too widely

The mill’s original staircases are still in use, and the pillars that run the length of the mill were left exposed, retaining the building’s original features and character. The original ceilings on each floor were also left exposed, with acoustic rafts fitted to prevent echoes.

The coach house roof has been repaired using reclaimed slate, and complete re-pointing. As this building is being used as office accommodation and a diving school, shower and changing facilities were added and the floor levels were changed to ensure that the building met Disability Discrimination Act requirements.

The Impact:

This project was the first college opened by Dixons Academies Trust solely for 16-18 year-olds. The renovation and restoration of the Grade II-listed mill and its coach house, retaining and re-establishing their original features, has provided places for up to 880 students in the South of Bradford.

" I would like to thank Kier Construction and the team who worked on the Dixons Sixth Form Academy project. The commitment, professionalism and sheer hard work was exemplary. The team responded well to any school request and ensured we have a school we are all proud of. The project was not without its challenges but these were always met with positivity, pragmatism and commitment to high quality outcomes. It has been an absolute pleasure working on this project, I wish the team and Kier every success going forward. "
Wesley Davies Associate Executive Principal Dixons Academies Trust

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