News & Insights

Morgan Sindall Construction appointed to two Northern Home Counties school expansions


Work has begun on two major projects to expand and refurbish Vandyke Upper School and Gilbert Inglefield Academy in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, worth a combined value of £16.7 million.

The schemes, which sit next to each other on Vandyke Road, include both remodelling and new build elements to each site, creating an additional 240 new school places at each school.

Morgan Sindall Construction was appointed to the projects for both schools via the Southern Construction Framework (SCF).

SCF is a collaboration between Devon and Hampshire County Councils that offers public sector organisations throughout London, the South East and the South West support with construction procurement.

At Vandyke Upper School, the £10.2 million scheme will involve the construction of a brand new, modular, three storey block of 12 science labs, 10 maths classrooms and a sixth form centre. The project team will utilise off-site manufacturing to minimise disruption and ensure benefits to cost, time efficiency and the environment.

Works will also include the transformation of the current science labs into new general and technology teaching rooms, whilst the existing sixth form area will become a new modern café and social space for students. The demolition of the maths block will make way for inspiring landscaped outdoor spaces, including a flood-lit hard play area, providing the students with inspirational learning and developmental environments.

The £6.5 million project at Gilbert Inglefield Academy will see the addition of a new teaching building, providing the school with 10 new classrooms, a new three-court sports hall and two IT labs, as well as the remodelling of the existing building to provide school users with a new kitchen and dining area.

In addition, the scheme looks to introduce new Special Educational Needs (SEN) therapy spaces and an external multi-use games area (MUGA) to ensure all of the school’s students have the opportunity to thrive in inspiring academic settings.

With the majority of the school remaining open while work is ongoing, Morgan Sindall Construction has introduced detailed phasing plans to relocate students into the new classrooms, and site deliveries have been banned between the busiest school hours to ensure minimum disruption to students and the surrounding community.

David Rowsell, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are delighted to start work on these two key projects that will help bolster the region’s educational offering and improve the facilities available to current and future students. We will also be delivering Vandyke Upper School via an offsite approach with our modular supply chain partner Eco Modular. This will be the fourth off site building we have delivered in the last two years in Northern Home Counties.

“Morgan Sindall Construction has a long-standing reputation for working with and delivering across Central Bedfordshire, and through our close working relationships with Vandyke Upper School and Gilbert Inglefield Academy, as well as our wider project partners, we are proud to be delivering these projects in a time-efficient, sustainable way.”

Work will complete at Vandyke Upper School in time for the next intake of students in September 2020, while the Gilbert Inglefield Academy School project will complete later in the same year.

Morgan Sindall Construction has been delivering a number of key projects across the region. In St Albans, the company is on site working on a major £34 million regeneration project, Civic Centre Opportunities Site (CCOS), in the heart of the city centre.

In Bedford, the company has started work to deliver a £7.1 million project to redesign and refurbish Goldington Academy, for the Department of Education (DfE).