Morgan Sindall Construction to deliver 240-place extension for Birmingham school
Morgan Sindall Construction has been appointed by Birmingham City Council to build a new £5.6 million extension to Kings Heath Boys School in Kings Heath, south Birmingham, which will support 240 additional single-sex school places.
The local authority commissioned the scheme in response to the city’s population boom. A report by the council earlier this year estimated that 10,000 additional secondary school places would be needed in the next five years to cope with demand. Birmingham City Council is aiming to increase capacity at Kings Heath School by moving to a seven form entry model next September. All new spaces will be sized to accommodate 30 students and futureproof the school.
The project was tendered through the Construction West Midlands (CWM) Framework: a high quality, cost effective delivery vehicle for public sector construction, which Morgan Sindall Construction has had a place on since 2011. The framework is managed by consultancy firm Acivico, on behalf of Birmingham City Council.
Designs by local architect, Associated Architects outline a three-storey, 14,854 square foot building. On the ground floor will be a new staff room, two science laboratories and a resource room. There will also be additional toilets and new entrance lobby. The first floor will be used to house classrooms with the latest in IT equipment and a head of year office, while the second floor will have a music room, conference room and food technology facilitates.
Enabling works began in July on the first phase of construction while pupils were off-site for their summer holidays. The existing kitchen and administration block has been demolished to make space for a new sub-station upgrade and 1,743 square foot kitchen extension.
Pedestrian walkways have been built to ensure staff and pupils will still be able to move freely around the site. First phase works are scheduled to complete in early November. Construction will then begin on the new extension itself.
Work on the overall project is expected to complete by late 2021.
The headteacher at Kings Heath Boys is keen for the new build to bring the current fragmented buildings together and develop a “heart of the school”, where various breakout activities can take place, allowing teachers and students to interact in less formal surroundings.
David Kelly, CWM framework manager at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: "Local authorities across the West Midlands are employing innovative solutions to expand schools to support demand for primary and secondary school pupils, in the face of rapid population growth. Well-designed modern extensions and repurposed existing buildings have a key role to play.
"Working through an established framework like CWM ensures fast and efficient procurement, which is key to delivering these education projects quickly and efficiently. It also grants access to a skilled local supply chain and delivery partners which understand the challenges in designing and building learning environments, often to tight timescales and very specific briefs.
“We’re very pleased to have made good progress on the initial phase of this project while the pupils have been at home. We’ll work courteously and safely to finish it alongside a live school site and are looking forward to handing it over late next year.”
Ryan Turner, Education Account Manager at Acivico, said, ‘Improving educational facilities in Birmingham is vitally important to ensure the Midlands has a strong future. Acivico has been working alongside school stakeholders and Birmingham City Council to help develop and improve educational facilities across the region as well as providing much needed additional school places. Investment in education is crucial to ensure we develop leaders of the future and this is a vitally important project for the children of Birmingham”.
Christopher Etheridge, Headteacher at Kings Heath Boys, said: “Kings Heath Boys already has unparalleled facilities and grounds within the local area. This new development containing seven specialist classrooms and multi-use communal spaces will only enhance our offer further. As we expand due to increased demand this landmark design will ensure that Kings Heath Boys becomes the school of choice in its community for many years to come.”
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