News & Insights

Morgan Sindall Construction transforms Bedfordshire school


The completion of a major expansion and refurbishment project at Vandyke Upper School in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire has been marked with a celebratory handover event led by Morgan Sindall Construction’s Northern Home Counties team.

The project will create 240 new places at the school and has been delivered under the Southern Construction Framework (SCF), a quality-managed collaborative construction framework for public bodies to procure major building works using a two stage open book process to deliver best value.

The Morgan Sindall Construction team remodelled the existing school and constructed a brand new, modular, three storey block of 12 science labs, 10 maths classrooms and a sixth form centre. Working with modular supply chain partners Eco Modular, the project team utilised off-site manufacturing on the project to minimise disruption, create cost and time efficiencies, and enhance the building’s sustainability performance.

The project team also worked closely with supply chain partners Papworth Furniture, Brennan Civil Engineering and Flahive Brickwork to deliver the expansion and refurbishment, working safely with their supply chain during the COVID-19 lock down to ensure the school was delivered on time for students to start this academic year.

The school’s existing science labs were transformed into new general and technology teaching rooms. The demolition of the maths block made way for a new attenuation tank and landscaped outdoor spaces. In addition, four new flood-lit netball courts will provide the students and wider community with state of the art sports facilities. A new contemporary café and social space was also created for students to enjoy.

David Rowsell, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “Morgan Sindall Construction is passionate about delivering outstanding education facilities for the next generation and we’re pleased to have successfully completed works to expand and remodel Vandyke Upper School – creating a contemporary, future-fit learning environment which will benefit young people living locally and bolster the region’s educational offering.

“We’re committed to innovating and adopting modern methods of construction to deliver high-quality projects while driving cost and time efficiencies and enhancing sustainability performance across developments. Vandyke is the fourth off-site building we have delivered in the last two years in the Northern Home Counties, and we’re delighted to be harnessing this approach to deliver the best possible solutions for our clients and communities.

“The team has delivered outstandingly well, from commencing on site in January 2020 the majority of the programme has been through the peak of the Covid pandemic. From the outset, the project team created a very focused, collaborative approach to delivering with the supply chain and especially the modular contractor. This ensured that despite significant challenges encountered through the pandemic, the project was run safely and effectively has still been handed over on time and the client is absolutely delighted.”

Vandyke Upper School Headteacher, Tim Carroll, said: “We are thrilled at what has been achieved. It will make such a difference to the experience of the students and staff. So to everybody who has worked on the project and made this possible - from me, a heart-felt thank you.”

Morgan Sindall Construction is also nearing completion on the expansion of Gilbert Inglefield Academy on an adjoining site to Vandyke Upper School. 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.

The scheme will also introduce new SEN therapy spaces and an external multi-use games area (MUGA) to ensure the school’s students have the opportunity to thrive in inspiring academic settings.