London & South East

Rebuilt Heston School opens its doors

Pupils and teachers at Heston Community School in Hounslow, Middlesex, have moved into their new school building, constructed as part of a £24 million redevelopment of Heston school.

The design and build redevelopment scheme  is being carried out for the London Borough of Hounslow and managed by the council’s Capital Strategy Team within Children’s Services and Lifelong Learning. Main Contractors are Apollo Property Services Group’s specialist division, Apollo Education, who are also carrying out the next phase of the works involving demolition, refurbishment and the provision of new facilities. Apollo is working with design partners Ellis Williams Architects, service engineers PinnacleESP, structural and civil engineers Campbell Reith and landscape architects Sprunt. Token Cleaning Services Ltd carried out all the builders cleans and pressure washed all the pavements.

The newly built two storey school, on Heston Road, brings together Heston Infant and Nursery School, and Heston Junior School within an integrated facility. The new school has visual and performing arts status and includes new facilities to showcase this specialism. The new building is ‘U’ shaped with the main school entrance on the western elevation. The hard play areas, situated on the west and north sides, surround the school, with the teaching rooms and hall are immediately accessible. This allows the classrooms to open out onto hard play surfaces, which in turn access soft play areas, followed by the nature and wildlife areas.

With an eye on sustainability, the school’s heating and cooling strategy involves the use of ground-source heat pumps which will assist in the fulfillment of a 20% on-site renewable target.

The rebuild is the second phase of the project, which has already seen a new block built for the community school to replace numerous mobile classrooms and the outdated Norwood Block. The new block provides teaching spaces for art, design and technology, including food technology and textiles rooms, ICT/Business suites and general teaching spaces for English. There is also a new Learning Resource Centre and specific teaching, study and breakout areas for sixth form students.

One of the key design criteria was the minimisation of aircraft noise through enhanced acoustic performance, as the school is located close to Heathrow Airport. The structural concrete frame and flat slab structures selected provide a high thermal mass and good noise separation, as well as good flexibility for future changes to internal layouts.

Councillor Sachin Gupta, lead member for education at the London Borough of Hounslow, said: “This is an important step on the way to giving these schools the buildings they deserve.”

“We are determined to make sure local schools have facilities that meet the needs of future generations, and the wider community.

“The new building gives teachers state-of-the-art facilities to help children learn and achieve.

“When the scheme is finished, Heston will have school buildings to be proud of.”

Governors, staff and local residents were involved in the consultation for the design of the new building to ensure that it provides the best opportunities for pupils in the future.

The next phase of the work will see the demolition of the existing junior school building to create an external learning and play environment incorporating a Multi Use Games Area. In conjunction with this, the existing infant school will be remodelled as the permanent kitchen and dining facility for the Community school.

All the works have been carried out with the school in use.

The works commenced in November 2008 and are due to be completed at the end of 2011.

The Apollo Group is one of the largest providers of property services in the UK, operating for both public and private clients within the housing, education and the public and commercial sectors.

Apollo’s projects range from major social housing regeneration schemes through to the delivery of fast track school improvement works and the construction of new educational facilities, as well as facilities for health and leisure and the emergency services.

The business employs 890 people and its annual turnover level is approaching £300 million.


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