The Challenge:

Oakwood High School was developed through the ESFA’s PSBP, replacing the original school building which was no longer fit for purpose. The new building was constructed on the school’s live site. It was carried out through meticulous phasing of works and a series of demolition phases required to release areas of the site for the new building, while still retaining access and safety for the existing school’s operations.

Access was carefully negotiated away from the adjacent hospital via a side road, with parking for site operatives provided away from the school and neighbours. Management of deliveries avoided school drop-off and collection times which ensured the safety of staff and students.

The Solution:

The school’s sloping site was accommodated using 4m retaining walls, concealed in the building fabric as gabion stone walls at the entrance. The building is steel-framed, with a brick façade along the dominant front of the building, and metal-clad buildings to the rear. Services were upgraded, with provision of a new substation and modifications to drainage, gas, and water supplies. Internal finishes were chosen to have a business-like feel.

The Kier team established a great relationship with the school in addition to the ESFA, ensuring that the best outcome was achieved, and the school’s needs were supported. Regular collaborative planning sessions were set up to ensure that challenging coordination and programme requirements were met.

The Impact:

The school achieved its goal of a modern, business-like building with smooth circulation and easy access to different teaching zones. The new building was completed as planned and opened in September 2016 for the start of the academic year. The demolition footprint of the old school was returned to a natural meadow area for informal breakout, and existing trees were enhanced with the planting of new trees.

Kier also delivered design savings through the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM), in addition to better management of design coordination, effective design and change management.

" A very positive relationship has been developed with Kier. The project team is very approachable, work in a professional manner whilst responding to our questions and requirements "
Ann Abel Director of Finance and Physical Resources Oakwood High School

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