The Portakabin Group has been announced as preferred bidder for seven infant and primary school projects in Surrey and Kent. The contracts for the Department for Education will be worth in the region of £28 million. The projects will be completed by winter 2017 and constructed using a Yorkon off-site solution.
The schemes have been identified by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) for delivery under the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). The PSBP was established to address the needs of those schools in the worst condition across the country.
A spokesperson from the EFA confirmed, “There was very strong competition in the off-site sector for this batch of projects and the modular market has clearly risen to the challenge with more advanced technical solutions. We looked closely at design, cost, experience and management.”
Simon Ambler, Director of the Portakabin Group, “This is another milestone for the Portakabin Group and for the off-site sector. We are delighted to be able to demonstrate our ability to deliver high quality, affordable school buildings on time, on budget and to faster programmes to the benefit of children’s education. The opportunity for off-site construction to help transform the learning environment for thousands of pupils and their teachers under the Priority School Building Programme is immense.”
“Off-site construction gives schools the benefits of considerable savings on programme because the sub and super structures are delivered simultaneously; it is safer because work off site is maximised, and the approach reduces disruption – which are all clear advantages when redeveloping fully operational school sites.”
Three of the seven projects identified in the Surrey and Kent batch are now in the design stages.
The first to start on site will be Pyrford Church of England Primary School in Woking. A £5 million 2FE primary school with two ‘bulge’ classrooms will be constructed to accommodate 480 children from the start of the 2016/17 academic year. It will replace the existing single-storey school which will then be demolished.
Pyrford is a complex site which will include the retention of an existing children’s centre and nursery. The design of the new two-storey building will significantly increase the external space and access for outdoor play and learning, and high levels of natural light will provide a welcoming and bright internal environment for teaching.