North East & Yorkshire, Premier Construction

The transformation of Westlands Academy

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 Westland Academy, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham

Leeds based fit-out contractor Morris & Spottiswood has completed an extensive £1.2million refurbishment at Westlands Academy in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham.

Westlands is run by the Horizons Specialist Academy Trust and is a school for pupils who have social, emotional and behavoural difficulties. The trust received a grant from Education Funding Agency (EFA) to undertake the refurbishment.

Morris & Spottiswood managing director Jon Dunwell said the five-month project involved demolishing the east wing of the school, minus the exterior walls, and completely refurbishing it.

Mr Dunwell explained how the building has now been transformed into a modern base for the secondary school’s 70-plus pupils.

“The project involved fitting a new roof and creating new classrooms as well as state-of-the-art cookery, art and science rooms,” he said. “We also delivered a full package of mechanical and electrical (M & E) installations. The project was not without its challenges, as we had to complete the work while the pupils were in school. This meant working around their break times and when they arrived at school and left at the end of the day.

Westland Academy, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham

“From a health and safety perspective it was vital to keep the pupils safe – something that we were praised for by Ofsted inspectors who visited the school while we were there. We also did everything in our power to keep the noise to a minimum while the pupils were in class. The building we worked on, which makes up about half of the school, is now totally unrecognisable. It has a completely new layout with sweeping corridors and modern, well-equipped rooms.”

Westlands Academy Principal Pete Ewart said: “Westlands School has been in need of updating for several years, the positive impact that this will have for the young people who attend here will be tremendous.”

Mr Dunwell said the project was managed and delivered by Morris & Spottiswood’s Warrington and Leeds offices, led by contract manager Kevin Harnick.

“This is a fantastic example of the unique service that Morris & Spottiswood offers customers,” he said.

Westland Academy, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham

“We were able to provide the all-round service that the school needed and the flexibility to alter the plans as we worked. The school bosses asked us to make a couple of changes once the work had started and we were able to do that.”

Mr Dunwell said Morris & Spottiswood is looking to win more fit-out and M & E work, in which it has extensive experience.

“We have grown our turnover to more than £74.4m in the last year and are confident growth will continue with the North of England doubling revenues to around £35m from their present level of £19.5m,” he said. “Retail will play a key role in this growth as will healthcare, education, banking and commercial offices. We are actively seeking to recruit local skilled workers and sub-contractors to help support and drive our expansion.”

For further details on Morris & Spottiswood’s fit-out, maintenance and M & E services contact: jon.dunwell@morrisandspottiswood.co.uk or any member of the team in Warrington or Leeds: 01925 284 610 or visit: www.morrisandspottiswood.co.uk.

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