The Challenge:

Founded in 1919 the school site comprised of some unfit for purpose run down teaching blocks to the rear of the site. Other blocks were in need of refurbishment but were of mainly sound construction including the main block A which had a locally listed façade.

Programme and logistics were tight with key challenges such as; Significant issues with the condition of the main, listed building, in particularly the M&E. A constrained budget with significant temporary accommodation allowance. Long and complex phasing strategies, with multiple and costly decant requirements.

Developing design synergy between the old refurbishment blocks and the new build was crucial to avoid the old refurbishment block and the new build block looking like separate projects.

The biggest challenge was that the school had to remain live throughout the works.

The Solution:

Through the development of the phasing strategy, we avoided multiple decanting and the relocation of specialist spaces into temporary accommodation. This created budget savings of £20k, as well as reducing disruption. Additional budget was used to fund improvements to the existing building, e.g. fire life safety systems, outside the original refurbishment scope.

Refurbishment of main block was completed in small manageable sections during holidays, evenings and at weekends. This allowed the last project phase to be omitted and ensured the project completed 6 months early.

The façade of the existing building received new windows to match the new build and along the locally listed elevation all existing timber sliding sash windows were double-glazed.

The Impact:

The project was handed over 6 months early due to re-phasing the refurbishment zones. The re-phasing allowed the school to not lose one day of teaching or any of their curriculum.

The team accesses the M&E critical zones in the refurbishment areas during evenings and weekends. Each time the programme of works had to be completely detailed and communicated to all to ensure that either the next morning or the start of the following week the areas were available to teach children.

Lean programming and Collaborative planning to ensure completion of an entire block was achievable during the 6 week summer holiday.

" I wanted to say a big thank you, to you and all your team for all the hard work you have put in at Harris Girl’s Academy. The new build and refurbishment phases handed over to date look fantastic and the students are really enjoying their new surroundings... "
Jamie Wallis Estates Manager Harris Academy

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