Construction has started on the £3.9m renovation of King Edward VI School in Lichfield, with works being led by Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson for Staffordshire County Council under the Staffordshire Construction framework.
This is the second contract secured by G F Tomlinson through the Staffordshire Construction framework for Staffordshire County Council, led by Entrust Property Services – the first being the £5.2m Poppyfields Primary School in Cannock, which was successfully completed last summer within a major housing development in the area.
The project involves the design and build of an extension to an existing building and the construction of a new modular building to provide much needed replacement teaching and auxiliary spaces at King Edward VI School.
Building on a winning partnership from the successful delivery of the Poppyfields Primary school, G F Tomlinson again appointed Arc Partnership to provide architectural and engineering services for the scheme.
Phase one of works at the Lichfield co-educational comprehensive for pupils aged 11 to 18 involves the construction of a new three-storey extension on the site of a former swimming pool, which had been closed for over 10 years and was demolished as part of preliminary site-wide enabling works by Entrust prior to commencement.
The extension will provide replacement teaching and auxiliary spaces, as well as an administration area on the lower ground floor, which will be the location of the school’s new student services area. Completion for this phase is expected in spring 2021.
Phase two involves the demolition of existing accommodation and obsolete prefabricated buildings, to be replaced with the construction of a brand new standalone modular structure, providing modern and enhanced science laboratory teaching facilities at the school.
Ideal Modular, part of G F Tomlinson’s existing supply chain, has been appointed to deliver the modular element of this project. Works for phase two are expected to be completed in winter 2020.
During the course of the construction works, G F Tomlinson is looking to engage with both staff and students of the school. The site management team will perform virtual live site tours for the school to report project progress and allow them to raise any queries they have. Once government guidelines allow it, the contractor also plans to carry out regular site tours and school assemblies, as well as communicating the project’s progress through meetings with the school. Regular newsletters will also be distributed to the school and local residents.
Chris Flint, Director of G F Tomlinson, said: “We are pleased to be able to commence construction works for our client Staffordshire County Council, particularly in the current climate. The works will maximise space and upgrade the existing buildings at King Edward VI School. These important renovations will optimise teaching spaces and improve the overall educational experience for students and staff.
“It has been rewarding to engage with Entrust Property Services again and we look forward to working for them and Staffordshire County Council to deliver this project, whilst continuing to build strong relationships with Arc Partnership and our other local supply chain partners over the course of both phases.”
County Councillor Philip White, cabinet member for learning and skills, said: “These works are being completed to ensure the site can accommodate an increased demand for pupil places at the school, as a result of new housing in and around the city. Once finished, the work will enable the school to expand by 150 pupils.
“We have been planning for this for a while, and construction is taking place over the course of a year to minimise disruption as much as possible. I’m sure pupils and teachers will enjoy using the brand-new accommodation in September 2021.”
John Doherty, CEO of Entrust Support Services, said: “We are proud to see works commence at King Edward VI School following ENTRUST’s master planning of a multifaceted brief across a split campus. This is a complex project which we are proudly project managing with our preferred contractor and we look forward to working with G F Tomlinson, Staffordshire County Council and the school to complete it. Once finished, these new teaching spaces will benefit the school and its pupils well into the future.”
Jane Rutherford, headteacher at King Edward School said “With additional students joining us each year, this project will provide all our students and staff with access to improved facilities. We are looking forward to seeing the project completed during the coming academic year”.
Staffordshire County Council is leading the project, with project management from Entrust, G F Tomlinson acting as main contractors, and Arc partnership acting as architect and structural engineer.