Construction works have completed on a new first school on the Bramshall Meadows estate on Ivinson Way in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. Midlands-based main contractor G F Tomlinson lead on the construction of the school, with works starting on the 12,000m2 site in 2021.
G F Tomlinson
The school offers places for pupils from four to nine year olds, as well as nursery placements, and welcomed the first cohort of pupils in September.
Pupils also came together at the school to bury a historic time capsule, as part of an official launch ceremony, which will be resurrected in 25 years’ time. The capsule contained symbolic items from all the children as well as souvenirs from Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and a storybook about COVID-19 and the pandemic.
The £4.3m scheme was completed through Staffordshire County Council’s Capital Framework and designed, and project managed, by Entrust. Now complete, the school is led and managed by The Uttoxeter Learning Trust.
G F Tomlinson has been entrusted to deliver five schools to date for Staffordshire County Council with Bramshall Meadows First School being the latest, following the recently-completed Fradley Park Primary School in Lichfield.
The new, single-storey 1 form entry (1FE) first school was developed as part of a wider plan to expand first school provision in Uttoxeter in response to an increased demand for places generated from new housing in the local area, such as the Bramshall Meadows housing development. It represents the first school to be constructed in Uttoxeter in response to growth, comprising a nursery, classrooms, a multi-use hall, catering space, outdoor sports pitch, play areas and car parking with six electric charging points.
The project consisted of the construction of a flat roof, with a single-ply membrane, the installation of toilets with vanity and Integrated Panel Systems (IPS) units and rooflights in each classroom of the corridor to provide a light environment. Features were incorporated into the design of the sports hall, such as acoustic panelling on the internal walls and ceiling school sprinkler.
Construction methods were applied to the build, including a structural framing system (SFS), external walls and clad in brickwork and render. Cladding panels were also installed to the external walls of the hall.
The project was successfully completed on time and on budget, however it didn’t come without its challenges. Due to the tight residential environment and adjacent contractor housing entrance, the front entrance of the site could not be used for deliveries. G F Tomlinson, therefore, had to create a new access, which cut across the proposed new sports pitch meaning the construction of the pitch had to be rescheduled within the programme timelines. This resulted in the pitch being installed following the completion of the new build as opposed to before.
The lengthy development from a new housing project within the area, closely followed by the new school, caused the local community to experience building works close to their homes for a long period of time. To ensure minimal disruption to the residents, G F Tomlinson implemented strict control measures, including securing fencing around the site perimeter to ensure full segregation of construction works, deliveries were carefully scheduled apart to avoid congestion on the surrounding roads and peak times for residents. Employee and visitor parking was also only permitted on site, rather than on neighbouring residential roads, and regular newsletters were issued to residents to keep them informed of the progress and planned works.
One of the major factors in construction today is the delays of material supplies. To avoid this G F Tomlinson placed material deliveries earlier than usual and stored these on site, within a designated materials area to mitigate delays.
Chris Flint, Managing Director at G F Tomlinson, said: “We feel very privileged to have been able to deliver this brand-new, high-quality school building for Staffordshire County Council, which has created much-needed school places for children in the local area. The project is the first to be completed in response to the rise in demand for places within Uttoxeter and we feel very proud.
“It was fantastic to see the school welcome pupils in September as the children took their first steps to embark on their academic journeys. The school has been designed with future growth and expansion very much in mind to provide an excellent learning environment for the growing community.”
Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Bramshall Meadows has been built in response to increased housing in the area, which has meant there will be more demand for school places. Whenever there is new housing in an area, we always work with developers, local schools and the Department for Education to put plans in place to meet increased demand for school places.
“It’s fantastic that local children are able to learn in a brand-new school with lots of amazing facilities, and I am sure they have enjoyed starting school life.”
Andrea Cairns, Executive Headteacher at Bramshall Meadows First School, commented: “We are absolutely delighted with the new school and the high quality of the build project with all its amazing facilities.”