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Southlands High School expands

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Southlands High School- Lancashire

Chorley Southlands High School is benefitting from a new £2.8 million music and art block.

The project will see a number of temporary classrooms being demolished to make way for the extension to the existing school buildings, which will include 3 large specialist art rooms, a resource area and a sewing machine work room.

There will also be outdoor work spaces and a school gallery to exhibit student and visiting artists work.

The project began in October 2011 and was completed in September 2012 and was funded by Lancashire County Council.

The main contractor was Bramall Construction Ltd, based in Manchester. Bramall Construction are part of Keepmoat Ltd, a leader in community regeneration throughout the North of England. Bramall Construction specialise in the regeneration and construction of public sector housing throughout Yorkshire, Humber, East Midlands and the North West.

The architect is the Warrington-based Ellis Williams Architects. They have worked on a wide range of education projects, including The Manchester Communication Academy and de Montfort University.

Their involvement with the promotion of good design includes being founding members of the LSC RIBA Forum and RIBA Award judging panelists.

The block is a steel frame two storey construction of approximately 1080 sq m, with lightweight SFS panelling internally and PCC floors and stairs.

The extension also has some full height glazing and a large glazed wall with folding doors to allow external performances during summer. The building takes advantage of as much natural lighting as possible in its design.

Externally, work has been done on a tarmac play area with seating and planting. There is now also a large flat decked area which will be used to teach students outside.

Southlands High School- Lancashire

The project is part of a building and refurbishment programme at Southlands High School which has seen a number of improvements over the last couple of years.

A new science block was completed in August 2011, featuring six state of the art science labs, and auditorium and a new ICT suite. This also included a new reception and conference room.

An extension has doubled the seating capacity in the school’s dining room and several suites of classrooms have been refurbished.

Andy Swain from Lancashire County Council said:

“The performance area of the new building is equipped with IT and audio visual equipment as well as professional dressing rooms to give pupils real life experience of performing, editing and recording.

“The project has been procured on a design and build basis and all parties have worked well together to achieve the results within the confines of the budget and the aspirations of the school. It is a very important project for us.”

Innova Design Solutions 

 Innova Design Solutions is a leading supplier of educational and commercial furniture.  They are specialists in the design and manufacture of inspirational furniture for laboratories, food technology rooms, ITC spaces, libraries, toilets and receptions.

On Southlands High School, Innova provided a contemporary look to the arts rooms, textile areas, performance space, music rooms and toilets. To highlight the students artwork a monochrome theme was followed but in each area a colour accent was used to lift the spaces.

The arts block interiors followed successful installations to the new science block, dining area and English and Mathematics classrooms.

Pete Smith, the company’s director, said:

“Countless studies have shown that children learn best via a wide-range of teaching methods, in a spacious and comfortable yet stimulating environment.

“We know the importance of the classroom, and the amount of time spent there by both students and staff. An inspirational environment is the backbone to achieving quality learning.

“We believe an effective learning space should encourage the student to become involved, whilst also being a safe place to learn. The right environment can also increase productivity, reduce fatigue and increase creativity.”

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