Friday, August 15, 2014

News: Kier in line for Rotherham new school contract

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Kier Construction looks to have secured the multimillion pound contract for the significant new build school on the site of Oakwood High School in Rotherham.

In 2012, the school, formerly known as Oakwood Technology College, made it onto the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), the government's centrally managed programme set up to address the needs of the schools most in need of urgent repair.

With 1,000 children on site on a daily basis, in a building that was designed for maximum of 600 pupils, plans have been developed for a three storey school building with a sports hall to replace the current buildings at Oakwood.

A planning application has now been submitted, put together by architects at the Building Design Partnership, listing Kier Construction as the contractor. As a leading construction, services and property group, Kier has already won £153m worth of contracts through the first phase of the £2.4 billion programme that is rebuilding 261 of the schools in England in the worst condition.

A capital funded project, funded directly by the Education Funding Agency (EFA), the new building at Oakwood will be located near Moorgate Road on the site of the existing science block and lower gym. It locates the teaching accommodation in a block that runs parallel to Moorgate Road with the sports hall, PE, music and drama spaces located together to the rear of the site facing the playing fields to the south.
The teaching block comprises three storeys with classrooms located either side of a central corridor. The performance block is two storeys but as the site rises from Moorgate Road the levels allow this to be set at level 1, a full floor height above the entrance level, creating a better relationship with the adjacent sports pitches.

David Naisbitt, headteacher at Oakwood High School, said: "We very much hope to have a purpose built school projecting a strong and positive image out onto Moorgate Road. This main arterial route needs to have strong statement about what education can be and we believe that the plans for this project very much allow for that message to be communicated.

"We hope that a new build will allow for us to work beyond the core hours and we would hope to develop a building which would be used by greater numbers of our community.

"Our intention and commitment is that the building will match our high expectations for learning and academic success and very much believe that this project will add to the outstanding provision which Oakwood High School brings to this community."

With plans submitted, the applicants hope to start on site this winter with the new school building planned to be complete by July 2016.

A second round of the national PSBP has recently been announced. After missing out in the first round, Swinton Community School and St. Pius X Catholic High School are being put forward by Rotherham Council for much needed repairs.

Oakwood High School website

Images: Building Design Partnership

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