Morgan Sindall Construction receives £39 million Rugby secondary school brief
Morgan Sindall Construction has been appointed to transform a historic Grade II- listed radio station into a £39 million secondary school in Houlton; the new community being developed on the outskirts of Rugby.
The project has been commissioned by the site’s master developer Urban&Civic, in collaboration with Aviva Investors, Warwickshire County Council and the Department for Education, to meet the increased demand for school places from families living in Houlton’s emerging 6,200-home community.
Once complete, the new school will provide more than 1,000 pupils with a modern 123,100 square foot learning environment. It will be operated by Transforming Lives Educational Trust (TLET) which is responsible for a number of academies in the area.
A key element of the work is to sympathetically extend the Grade II listed transmission hall of the former Rugby Radio Station which, at the height of its power in the mid-20th century, was the largest in the world. In 1927 the site transmitted the first transatlantic radio signal.
The project team will remove the roof, while retaining the existing masonry walls and inserting a new steel frame to create four additional floors for teaching within the building.
Plans will see the former power room converted into an assembly hall and canteen while also retaining many of its original features. Two additional teaching blocks will be built, along with a Sport England-compliant activity hall.
Construction work is scheduled to complete in time for the new school year in 2021.
Darren Eaton, Morgan Sindall Construction’s area commercial director in the Midlands, said: “As a business with our national headquarters in Rugby, we’re well aware of the historical significance of the site and of the expectation that the new school will be an inspiring learning environment befitting its groundbreaking heritage. Transforming a listed building into a modern secondary school with the capacity to teach 1,000 pupils is a challenging brief, but one we are ideally placed to fulfil, and we’re incredibly pleased to get work underway.”
Richard Coppell, Development Director for Urban&Civic, said: “The progress already made by Morgan Sindall Construction on this project is significant, especially during very challenging conditions. The transformation of this landmark building is a welcomed signal of progress and optimism for the local community who are rightly excited about the unique and inspiring school for their children, only a short stroll from home.”
The new secondary school forms part of the outline planning permission for the urban extension of Houlton. When complete, the site will comprise extensive green spaces and local amenities, in additions to schools and homes. Homes are available to view and buy through four housebuilders on the site.
Visit www.houltonrugby.co.uk for more information.
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