We were commissioned as Lead Consultant to co-ordinate the design and construction of a substantial education investment at Fairfield primary School, Widnes. The client’s brief was to amalgamate the existing infant and junior school buildings, originally operating as separate entities, into one collaborative Primary School. The principal aim was to encourage better functionality of the School as a single entity by enhancing and improving all facilities to meet the following criteria:
- Accommodate an increase in pupil numbers to 560.
- Increase the capacity of the existing sports hall to accommodate all pupils and staff at one time.
- Make provision for a single large staff room to accommodate all 60 staff.
- Relocate and remodel the School’s main entrance.
- Increase car parking provision for the new main entrance to alleviate growing on-street parking pressures to local residents.
- Extend the School to add 4 new classrooms as well as rework 4 other classrooms to increase their capacity and functionality.
- Enhance the existing WC facilities across the site.
- Extensive renewal of the Junior School’s mechanical and electrical services.
- Modernise internal finishes across both sites.
- Encourage the cohesion of the Infant and Junior School sites by way of a central all-weather pitch to the existing field as a shared facility for the new combined School.
- Creation of a WOW room to provide an advanced immersive and interactive learning experience to students.
In addition to the above, a priority for the whole project team and something we regarded of highest importance, was to maintain an exception standard of safeguarding throughout the operation. This was achieved by high standards of communication at all levels, and good planning, monitoring and co-ordinating the works for CDM purposes.
A significant undertaking on the project, to facilitate the proposed works, was the decant of the entire junior school into a temporary village, comprised of modular buildings, across the playing field. The village had to provide the spatial and service needs to support the continued function of 12 classrooms, a commercial kitchen, a dining/sports hall, necessary sanitary facilities as well as IT integration, to minimise as far as possible impact of the works on student experience.
The project was judged a complete success with the client rating Arcus an average of 9.5/10 across 10 KPIs.