Midlands & East Anglia

New school has a spring in its step

The newSpringbankPrimary Schoolin Eastwood,Nottingham, is fast reaching completion. Main contractors Kier Marriott are carrying out the £4.5m project, which was designed by Nottinghamshire County Council.

The project consists of a new building, a wildlife/conservation area at the top of the site and a football pitch. It began in November 2010 and is expected to be completed later this month.

Designed in an H-plan, the school comprises a lightweight steel frame structure with predominant brick cladding, whilst a few of the areas are finished with Sto Render. The building comprises of two wings – the East and West – which are linked to form an H-plan. Teaching areas are retained within the West wing whilst the East wing features a reception, admin facilities and a Head Teacher’s office, along with a hall, kitchen, community use facility and the pre-school and foundation classes, which have a combined hard and soft play area. The link between the two wings contains nurture facilities and a central resource area.

The nurture area and all of the classrooms open onto external landscaped areas. External works have included a 55m x 36.5m soccer pitch and terraced retaining walls by use of stacked gabion retaining wall filled with stone, stacked concrete block walling system and a series of pressure treated timbers.

One of the main aspects of the building’s design is the incorporation of sustainable features. Great efforts have been made by both the architects and the main contractors to minimise visual and audio disturbance, which has been achieved by means of both temporary and permanent acoustic fencing around the site.

With environmental sustainability at the forefront of this development, the pond and the conservation area at the top of the site provide wildlife diversity and serve an educational purpose. Where possible, perimeter hedgerows and mature trees have been retained.

Interestingly, the project has also included an extensive drainage system to reduce and manage flood risk.  French drains and a large attenuation tank have been installed to control and manage ground water, which should significantly improve the flood risk within and around the site.

Gordon Adatsi from Nottinghamshire County Council explained: “We always take the environment into consideration when designing a school. We have also carefully considered the impact of the design and construction work on the neighbours by making significant efforts to accommodate and manage the concerns of all interested parties throughout the consultation and construction process.

“This derelict site has now been transformed to provide delightful facility for the benefit of pupils and the community. The design has optimised the levels across the site and provides safe access for all via ramps. The building provides secure teaching and learning environment and the large volume of interior spaces created by the high ceilings provides a sense of freedom and free thinking.

“Everyone – staff, students and the construction team alike – are delighted with the finished product. This is an excellent design that we hope will benefit the children and community for many years to come.”

School Improvements

The new Springbank school is part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s  £100m plans to improve existing schools and create new learning spaces across the region.

The Council started a review of school buildings across the county following the cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future school programme, and the programme will work to the three Rs set out by the Government for school building works – refresh, refurbish, reuse.

Councillor Reg Adair, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Property, said: “I am delighted that these schools will reap the benefits of this funding as they are in need of urgent attention due to their poor condition and many not have enough classroom space for the extra number of anticipated pupils in the near future.”

Councillor Philip Owen, the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “This is the first phase of an ambitious programme which is the largest ever investment the Council has made to improve the condition of local schools.

“We are committed to making sure that Nottinghamshire children have a good start in life with the educational opportunities that they deserve.”

Outside Structure Solutions

Formally known as Covered Outdoor Solutions, Outside Structure Solutions is based in Cambridgeshire and specialises in providing outdoor canopies for the school and leisure market.  Whilst under its former name, the company worked with Kier Marriott and Nottingham County Council to provide outdoor canopies for use in external teaching and recreation at Eastwood Primary school.

Outside Structure Solutions was brought on board due to its ability to match the specific design requirements of the school.  Over three days it installed a 9 metre wide canopy, with everything running smoothly from start to finish.

Outside Structure Solutions company director Bill Caldwell said: “Outside Structure Solutions are specialist suppliers of outdoor canopies for schools and the leisure market and our products are designed so that they are suitable for use wherever they are needed.”

The canopy will now offer the students of Eastwood Primary School protection from all weather conditions including rain and harmful UV rays.


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