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Morgan Sindall plc appointed to rebuild two schools in Blacon

A computer-generated image of Blacon High School

Morgan Sindall plc has started work on the £11.5 million rebuild of Blacon High School and the £3.6 million rebuild of JH Godwin Primary School, both of which are in Blacon, Chester.

The two projects are part of 12 schools to be delivered by Morgan Sindall 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 repair and replacement.

Blacon High School on Melbourne Road, is currently housed in three separate buildings and these will be replaced by a single three-storey building.

A phased demolition will allow the school to remain open and lessons to continue as normal whilst the new school is built.

The new three-storey building for Blacon High School will provide a modern environment for its 600 11-16 year old pupils.

The purpose-built school will provide modern classrooms and facilities for dining, drama, a modern library service and a new sports hall.

The school will be located along Auckland Road, changing the orientation of the site away from Melbourne Road, to ease congestion around JH Godwin Primary School, where Morgan Sindall also starts work in June.

Sue Yates, head teacher of Blacon High School, said: “We are thrilled about the new school which will allow us to secure an outstanding learning environment for the young people in this community. This shows the level of confidence that there is in this school to continue to deliver high class teaching and learning.”

JH Godwin Primary School is currently housed in a two-storey building with limited accessibility to the upper floor.

The new build is taking place as a phased demolition, similar to Blacon High School, while lessons continue in the remaining section of the school for its 210 pupils.

The new school will have 1,325 square metres of floor space providing seven modern classrooms as well as the 26 place Stepping Stones nursery.

The school environment will be comfortable and environmentally friendly, with efficient and effective heating, ventilation and lighting throughout.

Nic Wetton, head of J H Godwin Primary School, said: “The school community is delighted and excited at the prospect of a brand new learning environment for all of its pupils, inspiring excellence and raising aspirations for the future.”

Barry Roberts, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “Both Blacon High and JH Godwin Primary are great community schools that will really benefit from the Priority School Building Programme. The new design makes the best use of the space available on both sites and will give the schools an enhanced presence in the local community.

“We look forward to working with the local community and delivering the best possible learning environments to the students at both schools.”

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 2017.

The two projects form part of the North West Private Finance batch, which reached financial close in March 2015. The batch includes a total of 12 schools in Chester, Wigan, Manchester, Stockport, Merseyside, Halton and Blackpool. Across the programme, where possible, 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.

Morgan Sindall’s contract covers the design and build of the new school and the hard facilities management of the school for 25 years. 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.

JH Godwin Primary is scheduled to be open in April 2016 and Blacon High School is scheduled to be completed in August 2016.

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