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Modular classrooms installed at Essex secondary schools

by Liam Turner
Modular classrooms

Construction work is underway on a number of modular classroom blocks at three secondary schools across Essex.

The modular units at Clacton County High School, in Clacton-on-Sea; The Colne Community School and College, in Brightlingsea; and Sweyne Park School, in Rayleigh, will create 750 much-needed school places, as part of the Essex County Council-led scheme.

Property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard has been appointed to deliver architecture, civil, structural and MEP engineering, and principal design services for the classrooms which have been tailored to be as flexible and efficient as possible to maximise the benefits of a modular solution, while simultaneously meeting the client’s educational needs and environmental requirements.

Keith Prendergast, director at Pick Everard, said: “We have worked closely with the client and had close collaboration with a modular supplier to ensure the brief was achieved and the design was conducive with an offsite modular solution. This will provide the high-quality education facilities the next generation of students deserve.

“The implementation of modular for these projects has also allowed the overall programme time to be greatly reduced, meaning that schools will be able to make the most of their new classrooms much sooner than if the traditional construction route were taken. We look forward to seeing all three schools open their new modular buildings, and to seeing students enjoying and making the most of their new environments.”

Construction at the three sites is expected to complete later this year. 

Property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Perfect Circle – a company jointly owned by Pick Everard, Gleeds and AECOM – was appointed by Essex County Council to deliver project management and quantity surveying services, which have been procured via SCAPE Consultancy, a direct award framework.

Tom Wint, quantity surveying associate at Pick Everard, said: “Modular builds are a new breed of structure that offer modern facilities and a greater level of flexibility and innovation. However, completing them for schools is still a relatively new concept. As a result, strong collaboration between all partners is required to ensure a successful delivery programme that is completed on time.

“When compared to traditional on-site methods, Essex County Council has reduced the overall project time by six months by opting for modular builds, which are a great way to save time and money on a scheme due to providing an efficient solution – allowing Sweyne Park School to open its new building at the start of the new academic year in September 2021.”

A spokesperson for Essex County Council, added: “It’s really important for us that all pupils in Essex receive the best possible education and that there is enough capacity within the county’s schools for every single child. We’re pleased to be working with Pick Everard on a series of projects to provide high quality learning environments and meet the increased demand for school places.

“Taking a modular approach to these schools will mean that we can provide these all-important spaces and additional pupil places quicker than using traditional construction methods. It is so important to minimise any disruption to the operation of the school – especially now schools have welcomed back all students.”

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