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Expansion of The Dean Trust Academy, Ardwick Brings More High Class education to the Community

Procure Partnerships Framework contractor partner Seddon is currently on site at The Dean Trust, Ardwick. Seddon is delivering an extension to the present teaching facilities as the school expands its capacity to cater for growing demand in the community. Dean Trust Ardwick opened its doors to a brand new, purpose-built school in September 2016. This project looks to increase the capacity at Ardwick from a design capacity of 1200 to 1350 pupils from the beginning of the 2020 academic year. As such, the dining area will be extended to accommodate 120 pupils and a new two-storey extension will create a new teaching block with an open under croft to retain external access. Existing classrooms areas will be refurbished.

The construction comprises of a steel frame, built off reinforced concrete pad foundations bearing on stone displacement piles. The main extension is three-storeys, with a single storey extension for the dining block. The façade is a mixture of curtain walling and SFS/cladding with a single ply roof. The internal partitions are drylined to form teaching spaces, built off reinforced concrete floors. The project also entails remodelling to the internal areas to create additional teaching facilities and accommodation. External works consist of a new car park with drainage and landscaping works.

John Shannon, Business Unit Director at Seddon commented on the scheme: “This project builds on our strong education experience and ability to enhance school facilities and the quality of learning environment for students.” John Shannon, Business Unit Director, Seddon.

A challenge with delivering works in an active educational setting is managing the construction programme to fit around the term-time schedule, Seddon and The Dean Trust work closely to mitigate against undue disruptions to the school’s regular operation. The school will increase its intake from September 2020 and as such require as much of the works to be complete for the new students as possible. Due to the late procurement process, this was a significant challenge. Seddon employed an external facilitator to host collaborative planning workshops with the Client, design team and delivery team. The workshops interrogated the pre-construction and construction programme, exploring all options to determine a solution that was most preferable for the school. The outcome was a phased handover, with completion of the dining block ready for the new school year and completion of the teaching block ahead of October half-term.

Nick David, Chief Finance Officer at The Dean Trust added: “The team at Seddon have been committed to working collaboratively with us and our design partners throughout the pre-construction period. Their vast construction and education experience has been shared to advise the design, construction and phasing methodology. The team have understood our key budget and programme requirements and have engaged with their supply chain to bring innovation to achieve these. On site Seddon have a well-presented site setup and maintain daily communication with us to ensure coordination is maintained.”

A second challenge present at this job is minimising disruptions to the teaching environment, all works are being undertaken within the grounds of the operational school. Careful consideration was therefore given to safety and disruption throughout the project. Full segregation has been implemented using solid timber hoarding to prevent trespass and reduce noise in working areas. Seddon has incorporated the school calendar into their programme, considering key events such as exams to ensure disruption is minimised. The Seddon site manager meets daily with the school caretaker to discuss planned works and any coordination changes. By working closely with The Dean Trust and Ellis Williams Architects, Seddon has created a construction design which has the lightest impact on the regular operation of the school which is critical at the outset of this scheme.

Faye Dolan, Key Account Manager at Procure Partnerships Framework: “The extension works at The Dean Trust Academy, Ardwick will bring more high-class education to the community by providing additional spaces for pupils to be educated in an excellent teaching environment. Seddon’s abundant experience in the Education sector highlights why they are a strong partner for The Dean Trust on this scheme. Procure Partnerships Framework is happy to be supporting both client and contractor through project delivery. We’re looking forward to seeing this job progress”