Since its establishment in 2012, Corby Technical School (CTS) has catered for students specialising in subjects such as engineering, electronics and computer programming and has served as an exemplar of the government’s free school programme.
In order to serve the increasing demand for places at the school, Wates Construction was appointed by Northamptonshire County Council to expand the existing school footprint, with the aim of doubling the school’s size.
Wates was tasked with undertaking this ambitious brief without interrupting the school’s daily activities, while also factoring in an unusually early start to the 2017/18 school year.
The project’s procurement through the East Midlands Property Alliance (empa) framework, managed by Scape, allowed Wates to expedite the start on site, with a gap of only 20 weeks between initial client engagement and construction work beginning at the school.
Once on site, Wates accelerated aspects of the project to accommodate the school term’s early August start. This saw the site team, including staff from GSS Architects and Pick Everard, adopting a flexible working strategy to minimise disruption to staff and students.
- The school was handed over in a phased delivery, enabling students to access key areas of the new building at the start of the academic year, while the final stages of construction completed.
- Wates’ accelerated programme ultimately enabled a successful early handover to Northamptonshire County Council in October, removing three weeks from the build programme.
- The build has enabled the school to double its Year 7 intake to 150 students.
- The 3,308 square metre expansion includes 20 new classrooms, a drama studio, lecture theatre, a media studies and music department as well as a new sixth form space and offices.
- The school’s car park has been expanded and existing classrooms have also been renovated.
- Other additions include the installation of photovoltaic panels on the school’s roof, and other energy efficient lighting and heating systems
“The resounding success of this extension for Corby Technical School is testament to the efficient and effective procurement process offered by the empa framework and Scape Procure. This facilitated the speed at which we were able to start work on site, the minimal disruption afforded to staff and students through our flexible building programme, the social and economic benefits offered to the community and the expertise we brought to the project as a trusted contractor in the education sector. It was a privilege to work in partnership with the Brooke Weston Trust and Pick Everard to create this exceptional learning environment for the Corby Technical School community.”
John Carlin, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction
“This expansion would not have been possible without the funding and support of Northamptonshire County Council who recognised the need for extra school places in Corby. I would like to thank them, along with Wates, who project managed the scheme, as well as the teams from GSS Architects, Pick Everard and Scape Procure. Everyone involved worked tirelessly on this extension that will enhance the education and life chances of Corby students now, and for generations to come”
Dr Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive of the Brooke Weston Trust
“There are just under 25,000 schools in the country each school average lifespan of 60 years. Alarmingly, this translates into up to 400 schools a year becoming unusable.
“We welcome the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s investment in new schools, and its standardisation of requirements for the schools it funds. These defined specifications have enabled Wates to develop Adapt, our own ‘kit of parts’ which allows us to significantly cut building costs and timeframes for new schools.
“Looking ahead, I’d like to encourage colleagues across the industry to ensure new schools are fully sustainable in addition to incorporating modern technology to build schools faster and address the school places crisis. While ensuring that new and improved school buildings are fit for use for longer, this will also encourage the students who learn in them to preserve and protect the world around them.”
Steve Beechey, Group Strategy Director & MD Government Affairs