Skanska school extension creates vital pupil spaces

Press release 16/10/2019 09:00 CET

Skanska handed over an extension to Bristol Cathedral Choir School, creating over 200 new places for pupils at the heavily-oversubscribed school.

The extension created over 200 pupil spaces

Work on the planning and preconstruction phase of the project began in 2017. The first phase, completed in two months, converted an existing listed building from a primary school to offices and a music practice room. Work also involved the reconfiguration of three rooms into two blocks to provide improved teaching facilities.

Work on phase two, completed over four months, converted an existing area into teaching space by relocating existing textiles, art and design and technology teaching rooms. They also relocated and increased the size of a cycle store. This phase was completed by demolishing an existing garage to construct a food kiosk.

During the final phase, the team demolished an existing structure to construct a new building including a girls’ changing room, science laboratory, two general teaching rooms and a communal room. During this phase the team stopped work for 14 weeks to allow archaeology investigations to take place. To ensure the project was delivered on time for the new academic year, they worked closely with Bristol Cathedral’s archaeologist.

Nathan Bowerman, Project Manager, explained: “This has been a complex project from the very beginning and we’re really proud of the end result. We worked successfully in a complex stakeholder landscape, including Historic England, because the school is located close to the Cathedral’s grounds. It was vital to the team that we delivered this project on time, to create extra spaces for pupils to attend this popular school.

“The project was delivered over three phases and all of the team worked seamlessly with each other to ensure that disruption was kept to a minimum and safety was at the forefront of everything we did.”

Paul Atkins, Head of School at Bristol Cathedral Choir School, said: "Every year, this school is significantly over subscribed, so creating these extra pupil places was vital for parents living in the area and wanted their children to attend a Bristol school.

“The team worked closely with all stakeholders on an historic site with sensitive requirements, delivering excellent facilities and overcoming some significant challenges. One that stands out for me is carrying on with the construction works during the exam periods without disrupting the pupils. This demonstrated the team's commitment to work in a safe and healthy environment at all times.  We are really pleased with the end result."