An Ofsted ‘outstanding’ academy in York has used a Yorkon off-site building solution from the Portakabin Group to construct a new teaching facility to help address the rising demand for school places in the area.
Archbishop Holgate’s School was founded in 1546 and was the city’s cathedral school. It is now an oversubscribed co-educational academy for more than 1,000 11 to 18 year olds. A new building was required to accommodate an additional 230 pupils following a reorganisation of secondary school provision in the area and to address the significant growth in the local school population. Numbers in year 7 groups are set to increase by 20 per cent by 2016 and demand for the sixth form has risen rapidly in the last four years.
The two-storey scheme was built off site by the Portakabin Group, working with consultants LHL Group. Off-site construction allowed the building to be delivered during term time with much less disruption to the day-to-day running of the school than a site-based solution. The steel-framed modules, delivered with building services and internal partitioning, were installed in just three days, and the project was handed over just 12 weeks after the modules arrived on site, to allow earlier occupation by the school.
Commenting on the choice of a Yorkon solution, John Stone, School Manager at Archbishop Holgate’s School said, “Following a reorganisation of secondary school provision in our area, we were expecting a significant increase in pupil numbers, so speed of construction was a critical factor in our decision to use the off-site approach. The tight deadline we had for completion and occupation just wasn’t achievable with site-based construction, which could have taken up to two years. We needed to achieve the balance between cost, quality and time. Having visited the Portakabin production centre in York and a completed Yorkon project, we were really impressed with the high quality finish.”
“We now have a fantastic learning environment and our staff and students are absolutely delighted with the new facility. I would wholeheartedly recommend a Yorkon solution to other schools, particularly those needing to urgently address a shortfall in places. We have already had a number of visits from other schools wanting to see our superb new teaching facilities at first hand, and they, too, have been very impressed by it.”
The building was designed to create a statement and to reflect the contemporary appearance of the sixth form centre. Architectural features include an overhanging pitched roof which forms an entrance canopy; full height glazing to the front elevation; brick cladding around the base of the building complements the adjacent brick buildings, and the external façade is finished in the school’s distinctive corporate colours. Multi-coloured infills to the lower sections of the windows add further interest and a strong identity for this latest addition to the school campus.
Facilities in the new building comprise a dance and drama studio, 11 classrooms for the English Department, offices, reception, staff room, store and plant rooms, toilets, lift with disabled access, and an IT suite with a glazed partition.
The Portakabin Group’s Yorkon building solutions offer unrivalled aesthetic flexibility and give building designers, contractors and occupiers the benefit of thousands of configurations and permutations to meet almost any design brief, site and building footprint.
The approach is highly sustainable because it reduces the number of vehicle movements and work on site, and there are fewer internal columns to facilitate space planning and any future reconfiguration required to meet changing local needs.