The construction of a substantial new build extension to the existing school has been completed.
Grove House primary school in Bradford caters for 420 pupils over it’s fourteen classrooms and a nursery. The challenge that we faced, when we demolished the old buildings and constructed the substantial new build extension, was to ensure that it remained ‘business as usual’ for the pupils whilst we improved & upgraded the learning facilities. It was paramount to us and the staff that the children’s education was not disrupted by the works.
The extension was to house a new dining hall, new classroom, reprographics room, outdoor PE store, cloakroom, office store and new external courtyard area.
Grove House is also an ARC (Additional Resource Centre) catering for the needs of visually impaired children. The ARC classrooms were located within the buildings that were demolished, so whilst the new classrooms were created the students were transferred to the main school where they waiting eagerly. We are happy to say that they were not disappointed and are now happy & settled within their new, improved school.
The visual impairment unit that we created has extensive facilities to encourage learning outdoors, providing a sensory garden as part of their foundation stage resource, used not only by the visually impaired children but also accessible to all the other pupils – a feature we think is an amazing opportunity for children.
We worked closely with the school to be mindful of the visually impaired children’s development, with regular meetings regarding anything be relocated or moved that may be out of place. It was important that the students were prepared so they could safely negotiate the walkways and environments before the changes were made.
Professionalism and high spirits were kept at all times, even when Mother Nature fancied throwing a spanner in the works! Sleet, snow, wind and rain thrust upon the team which made excavating the foundations a little tricky – and definitely very dirty!
The main area of excavations was at the bottom of a steep banking which was when one of the worst storms of 2016 came and turned the ground into a swamp. This added additional pressure to the team that had to ensure the surrounding areas were kept mud free, something that was not a problem to us as recognised by our scores received as part of the considerate contractor scheme. A large retaining wall was created around the site to protect the school form any future bad weather and surface water from the steep banking. The storm may have created a slight delay to us but we did not stray from the programme and managed to pull back the lost days without disrupting the drop off & pick up times of the day.
The internal fit out works included an underfloor heating system, assisted by a heat recovery system, which recycles the heat in an eco-friendly manner keeping all the pupils warm whilst being taught, at dinner or using the gymnasium.
There was a few sections of design & build on this project including the completion of the complex abutment detailing to fuse the new building with the existing school in a watertight manner. Ideas were put forward from the RDF team to the school and architect prior to a decision being agreed upon.
RDF wanted to ensure everything was perfect to adhere to the Grove House ethos of high quality teaching and a truly enjoyable learning experience. We believe these new facilities and environment that has been created will help the children achieve their very best.