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St George’s Academy Project Supports The Next Generation Of Creative Arts Students

Procure Partnerships Framework Contractor Partner Gelder will soon handover a programme of extension and new build works at St George’s Academy in Sleaford. The works include the development of five classrooms and an auditorium to keep up with the rising number of students attending the academy.

The project was secured via the Procure Partnerships East Midlands Framework.

St Georges Academy decided to take the opportunity to address the current state of the flat roof on the music block to develop a space that could be used in the wider community. This will greatly enhance the ability of the academy to increase the cultural capital and curriculum enrichment for the students as well as the hope that it could be used for visiting theatre companies and a wide range of creative and expressive arts activities and exhibitions, as well as visiting universities and other specialist providers.

The project is split into two areas, a new auditorium at first floor level over an existing single storey music block and a connected new build two storey classroom block. The project involved the removal of the existing roof structure, internal walls, finishes and internal joinery as required and the erection of a structural steel frame spanning the existing ground floor to support the new first floor auditorium. The first-floor extension incorporates an Insulated SFS framing with external rain screen cladding to the external leaf. The new build classroom extension takes on a traditional cavity wall construction with the entire roof being covered with Single Ply Membrane sat behind a parapet wall.

The works had to be carefully planned due to the location of the music block being at the rear of the school and the necessity for the students to still gain access to other areas of the academy grounds. Daily liaison with the school’s representative was paramount to the successful implementation of the project to reduce delays in the build but also to maintain the functionality of a live school environment. The main access to the construction site was to the rear of the existing academy as well as being the main entrance and accessed by the main car park. All site traffic was escorted from the Academy’s main entrance to the construction site, all arrivals had to be reported to the site manager prior to arrival to ensure the safety of all students, staff, and operatives.

Gelder’s dedication to social value throughout the duration of the project and beyond has been particularly impressive. This has included taking on several construction apprentices from the local area allowing them to gain hands on experience of a live site. Gelder have also created several initiatives that support the environment, such as the ‘Wild in the Woods’ course where 100 children a week are now connecting with nature through sessions that cover skills such as den building, cooking on a campfire, mini raft building, bird watching, pond dipping, art and much more. ‘Gelder Gold’ is also in progress, which involves the care of a hive of 30,000 European Dark Bees and harvesting the honey to sell locally.

Laranya Caslin, St Georges Academy, Principal, commented: “Despite a number of challenges, this project has progressed well. Communication has been very good throughout and all parties have approached each hurdle with a solution-focused mindset. Gelders have been keen to help the school realise its vision for the performance space and we sense that they share a mutual pride in the end product. They have made a number of very useful suggestions as to improvements that will result in the old ground floor music block feeling very much part of the ‘new build’, which is above and beyond the original brief. They have been considerate of the need for the school to operate effectively during the build and have been very accommodating.”

Conor Neild-Crabb, Key Account Manager, Procure Partnerships Framework commented: “A keen focus on developing a strong communication with the school has allowed Gelder’s to maintain steady progress across the site at St George’s Academy.

Despite the challenges faced Gelder’s has been able to go above and beyond the original brief and will deliver a superb new facility for the pupils at St George’s.”

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