Tuesday, April 15, 2014

News: Rotherham's £5m school on stilts

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Plans for a new £5m primary school in Rotherham have been submitted with council architects designing a three storey building on stilts to address concerns over flood risk and overdominance of surrounding properties.

Acting on a particular pressure for school places within the Eastwood and St Ann's areas, Rotherham Council secured £3m from the government last year and have progressed plans for a new central primary school on allotment land on Eldon Road.

The council plans to borrow the additional £2m required over a payback period of 60 years and eventually, the school will be capable of accommodating 360 pupils. The Central Learning Partnership Trust has been chosen as lead sponsors for the new school.

With 2,100 sq m of floorspace, it is proposed that the new school will be constructed with two upper floors over an open basement level, in effect making the building three storey.

The open basement is to retain flood storage potential, in the event of a flood, and to minimise the affect of such a flood on the building, should it occur. However, the building is to be set down from the adjacent buildings on Eldon Road, and therefore is not deemed over powering.

The basement would be used for car parking and has the potential for a multi use games area. Plans for the ground floor show three KS1 classrooms, two Foundation Stage units; hall, studio and a community room with the first floor to include six KS2 classrooms and a library. The building is also designed to be low energy and sustainable and includes features such as a biomass boiler, underfloor heating and LED lighting. A habitat area is also planned on the site.

The design incorporates monochrome materials with crisp white render and dark brickwork. The "occasional flashes of orange provide areas of interest."
The existing Donfield Tavern building would be demolished to allow for the one way entrance into the site but surrounding football pitches will not be affected. Replacement sites for allotments are being put forward and the plans also show that a number of other sites were put forward for the school. These include the former Eastwood Depot, Peck House and the site of the former Herringthorpe Leisure Centre.

The plans state: "The building has been designed to sit in its location, including its landscaping, in order to provide a functional, interesting, modern facility that projects a air of quality and can be cherished as a community facility.

"It is hoped that the building will provide a focus or stimulus for the community."

The applicants state that the new school will have no significant detrimental impact for residents due to loss of outlook or privacy and that noise impacts will not be excessive. However, it admits that for approximately 30 minutes during school opening and closing times there will be increased numbers of vehicles trying to park on Eldon Road and this could cause disamenity for residents living in close proximity.

Images: RMBC

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