News

£12 million transformation of Birkenhead's Ridgeway High School underway

Pictured left to right: Richard Potts,contracts manager, Morgan Sindall; Sara Humber, EFA; Tony Taylor, head teacher; Cllr Tony Smith, and Chris Jones, site manager, Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall has started the £12 million transformation of Ridgeway High School in the Noctorum area of Birkenhead.

The project is one of 12 schools being rebuilt by the company under the Education Funding Agency’s (EFA) Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) which aims to provide purpose-built school buildings to those in most need of urgent repair.

Originally built in the 1970s and extended in the 1990s, Ridgeway is an 825-pupil co-educational secondary school principally serving the Noctorum, Prenton and Oxton areas of Wirral.

The school is currently housed within the large original two-storey building and single-storey sports hall with the later extension home to the school’s language teaching facilities. Ridgeway has been designated as both a Business & Enterprise and a Language Specialist College.

The existing buildings are to be replaced with a new three-storey teaching building and a new single-storey sports hall which will be used by the school and local community. Once complete, in early 2018, the original buildings will be demolished and replaced with new access routes and landscaping.

Owing to the site’s profile, the buildings are arranged around three terraces and are set within the existing playing fields which are retained for sports and recreation use. New utilities, including an electricity substation which supplies power to local homes and the school, will also be built.

Morgan Sindall’s contracts manager Richard Potts, said: “Starting on site is a key milestone in any project and it is great to get underway at Ridgeway. We have delivered many new school buildings around the region and we are sure that the local community will be very proud of the new school which will emerge over the coming months.”

Cllr Tony Smith, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for Children and Lifelong Learning, said: “Ridgeway is one of 260 schools in urgent need of repair that are being rebuilt or refurbished under the national Priority School’s Building Programme. This ambitious scheme will help the Wirral Partnership meet its 2020 pledges towards supporting academic achievement in Wirral by providing students, staff and the local community with cutting-edge facilities and technology to support students’ learning.”

Through the national PSBP programme, 261 schools will be rebuilt or have their condition needs met by the EFA, the first of which was completed in 2014. All schools within the programme will be delivered by the end of 2018.

This project forms part of the North West batch, awarded to Morgan Sindall in August 2014, which includes a total of 12 schools in Blackpool, Chester, Wigan, Manchester, Stockport and Merseyside.

Across the programme, each new school will be built on land within the existing school boundary allowing the school to remain operational during construction of the new buildings. Once complete, the school will move into the new teaching facilities while the old buildings are demolished and external landscaping works are completed.

Designers have utilised level two Building Information Modelling (BIM) practices to design the school. This allows the different disciplines involved in design and construction, to share information leading to greater efficiencies.

The full list of schools Morgan Sindall is delivering under PSBP is as follows:
Secondary schools:

  • Blacon High School, Blacon, Chester
  • The Deanery Church of England High School and Sixth Form College, Wigan
  • Neston High School, Neston, Wirral
  • Ridgeway High School, Prenton, Wirral
  • South Shore Academy, Blackpool

Primary schools:

  • Bedford Drive Primary School, Birkenhead
  • Bridge Hall Primary School, Stockport
  • Dee Point Primary School, Blacon, Chester
  • Halebank Primary School, Halebank, Halton
  • Hawes Side Primary School, Blackpool
  • JH Godwin Primary School, Blacon, Chester
  • Plymouth Grove Primary School, Manchester
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