Construction Manager of the Year 2018: Primary Education
Gold winner: Temple Learning Academy, Halton Moor, Leeds
GOLD: James Fryer MCIOB - ISG
Project: Temple Learning Academy, Halton Moor, Leeds
Project outline: Part new build, part conversion of an abandoned 25m swimming pool and leisure centre into a new school for 1,024 primary and secondary pupils. Completed in 76 weeks.
Contract: JCT D&B
Value: Tender £10.6m, final contract £10.6m
James Fryer worked closely with the client from the outset of this education project in Leeds, visiting similar local schools to learn staff and pupils’ key priorities.
Haydn Boyce MCIOB, WRW - Penrhyn Church in Wales VC School, Pembrokeshire
John Campbell, McLaughlin & Harvey - Roslin Primary School, Edinburgh
Hadley Hands MCIOB, Dawnus - Ysgol Gynradd Lon Las, Swansea
Neil Locke MCIOB, Willmott Dixon - Heathfield Academy, Croydon
Richard Molyneux MCIOB, Willmott Dixon - Wixams Academy and Wixams Tree Primary School, Bedfordshire
Andy Walsham, Morgan Sindall - Littleport and East Cambs Academy
The scheme faced several cost challenges. The steep slope of the site had originally been addressed with a series of concrete retaining walls, which blew the overstretched budget. Fryer proposed a cost-effective slope stabilisation, which also created play space.
Where the slopes were too steep for geotextile membranes to limit subsoil slippage, his introduction of geosynthetic cells allowed the earth to be stepped back and planted up with shrubs and plants.
The new roof on the former leisure centre was also costly. Fryer used a drone survey of the existing roof covering and proposed an overroofing solution – avoiding the expense of removing the existing roof. Similarly, he suggested that the existing cladding, which was structurally sound but looked tatty, could be treated and painted to match the new roof build-up.
Fryer also helped the school’s marketing by organising site tours – at night – during the construction phase, creating safe routes and walkways to allow parents and prospective pupils to see what the school would look like.
SILVER: David Wright - Morrison Construction
Silver winner: Whatriggs Primary School and Early Childhood Centre, Kilmarnock
Project: Whatriggs Primary School and Early Childhood Centre, Kilmarnock
Project outline: Replacement of two primary schools with a single new-build campus also featuring an early childhood centre (for 110 children) and a community library.
Completed in 54 weeks.
Contract: SBCC 2011 D&B
Value: Tender £10m, final contract £10m
David Wright’s optimising of the design, without compromising quality or specification, was central to successful delivery of this school scheme.
His initiatives included reviewing the building structure in order to bring natural light into the school’s heart via roof lights and boosting the project’s environmental strategy through natural ventilation. Wright also reduced the materials palette, which helped unify the architectural identity, while minimising materials interfaces.
The landscaping strategy was reworked to incorporate modern educational thinking on play and external learning, creating a more natural landscape with a wider variety of play spaces, walkways and natural planting.
Wright substituted off-the-shelf play equipment with bespoke ideas conducive to play, exercise and learning, which included a mud kitchen and a fitness trail.
Quality was progressively signed off throughout, leaving no legacy problems or issues. Although agreement on important aspects of the fit out and finishes came very late in the day, the final testing and commissioning were successfully achieved first time round. There were zero defects or snags at practical completion.
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