Morgan Sindall Construction has been appointed to rapidly build a new primary school in Mickleover, Derby to replace a facility that was destroyed by fire last year.
The £6.9m, modular project at Ravensdale Infant School was awarded to the main contractor by Derby City Council via SCAPE, one of the UK’s leading public sector procurement authorities, through SCAPE Construction, a direct award framework designed to drive collaboration, efficiency, time and cost savings.
Once complete, the three-form-entry school designed by Lungfish Architects will provide teaching space for 270 pupils as well as a 26-place nursery for children that lost their existing school due to a fire in October 2020.
Demolition works started in early 2021 and all the construction work is expected to be finished in only 45 weeks, in time for the students to move in after next year’s summer half term break.
The modular nature of the new building has facilitated this rapid timetable. The whole school will arrive onsite in only 58 modules, which means it can be very quickly assembled into a high-quality educational facility.
Prior to the work at the new school starting, Morgan Sindall Construction helped provide efficient replacement teaching areas by moving a temporary modular school from the nearby Rosecliffe Spencer Academy in Nottinghamshire, where it was no longer required.
Coordinating with Derby City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, this initiative allowed the school’s nursery pupils and one year group to return to the Ravensdale Infant School site at Easter. The remaining year groups are temporarily housed at three other nearby schools that Morgan Sindall Construction recently built, which were procured through SCAPE Construction for both Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council, in partnership with Lungfish Architects.
Morgan Sindall Construction has been active in the community to keep parents, teachers and stakeholders up to date with the project’s progress. Recently this included hosting a “rebuild it in a day” event so that the pupils could understand the work that was taking place and learn about school construction.
Cllr Evonne Williams, Derby City Council Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Skills, said: ““We welcome the appointment of Morgan Sindall Construction as the main contractor to build the new Ravensdale Infant School. It was deeply upsetting to see it destroyed by fire in October, but we have been incredibly grateful for the support from the community and other schools over the past nine months.
“Morgan Sindall have already helped get a number of our pupils back into the classroom by moving temporary units to the site, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the rest back to a permanent building soon.”
The SCAPE public-sector partnership is expected to deliver £1.1bn of construction work to enhance community buildings and infrastructure. Morgan Sindall Construction has been a part of the framework for more than three years.
Rob Cant, Framework Director at Morgan Sindall Construction, commented: “We’re delighted to have been able to help support the families, teachers and the local people that were affected by the loss of their local infant school last year. Sites like this play an important role in any area, as they are vital not only for early years education but also as local community hubs — this made it imperative that we found some inventive solutions to get the school up and running as quickly as possible.
“Thanks to our existing work at other nearby schools and relationships with key stakeholders we were able to quickly move temporary teaching space to the site, helping to take some of the pressure off the local school network. The innovative and modular nature of the new building ensures that we can get the whole school up and running again in less than a year!”
Craig Taylor, Director at Lungfish Architects, said: “The collaboration between Morgan Sindall Construction and Derby City Council to get pupils back to their own school has been incredible, and as a team we are extremely proud to have designed the new modular school that replaces the previous facility destroyed by fire. There is an urgency to provide the new school building so that Ravensdale can begin to operate and teach as a whole school once more, and utilising offsite and modular can ensure that we deliver quickly, efficiently and affordably.
“The new school will give the pupils, staff and the surrounding community an exciting, spacious, colourful and engaging learning environment that will allow the children who lost their beloved to school to thrive and move forward from the tragic events.”
Mark Robinson, Group Chief Executive at SCAPE, added: “The shared determination between Derby City Council, Morgan Sindall Construction, Lungfish Architects and Arc Partnership to rebuild Ravensdale Infant and Nursery School, is nothing short of remarkable. And, at SCAPE, we’re proud to be able to help facilitate the efficient collaboration and ensure that the new school progresses quickly to minimise the disruption to pupils and their education. I am positive that the new school building will be somewhere really special for the children and the school community to overcome and rebuild.