Work on the school was completed over 18 months and involved the building and renovation of more than 18,000 sqm. across the ‘live’ site. The complex build required careful planning to ensure the highest of safety standards as well as minimal disruption to the pupils’ learning.
Founded as a Grammar School in 1951 with just 26 pupils, North Cestrian School is a thriving centre for learning in which hard work, honesty and fairness are prized. With the school’s student population expected to rise to 750 pupils by 2022, the extension and re-configuration of the existing buildings was critical to ensure it could not only meet future demand, but to provide a place for students and staff to work to their full potential – the ideal environment in which they could enjoy their studies and pursue academic excellence.
Capital investment for the project was provided after North Cestrian School was granted free school status from the Department for Education in 2016, following a rigorous application process. Designs for the project were provided by architects Cassidy + Ashton.
The school’s modern main entrance – perhaps its most striking new feature – leads on to a brand new reception area with disabled access. An all-new three-storey science, resistant materials and food technology extension was added, while a new dining hall and kitchen was built, which increased seating capacity from 40 to 120, with the old dining hall converted to music and performance rooms.
Other significant internal reconfiguration and reordering included: the relocation of the art department, new toilets, refurbishment of existing corridors and classrooms, and new staff facilities, including new lifts and new staff accommodation. Externally, works included resurfacing the entire playground and staff car park, as well as updating the sports pitches.
The update included a single-ply roof membrane to the new build areas and existing ‘live’ areas extending to 1,500m2, provided by Chorley-based roofing company Enviroply.
Shaun Smith, Project Manager at Conlon Construction, said: “We have been very pleased to work with North Cestrian School to help them meet their growing demand, and will continue to work with local schools and organisations as part of the commitments we have made to taking on projects, which create real value for local communities and make a lasting difference.”
Lee Bergin, Headmaster of North Cestrian School, added: “We are truly delighted with the outcome of the school’s redevelopment. Since being granted free school status in 2016 we have been on an incredible journey and I firmly believe the new buildings offer both our staff and pupils a modern learning environment still in keeping with the school’s traditional heritage.
“Throughout the development process, both pupils and staff managed to minimise the disruption to day-to-day school life. It’s a fantastic development for everybody involved and an exciting new chapter in our proud history.”