‘Priority’ Richmond school is transformed, thanks to £4.2m scheme

Pupils and teachers in the London Borough of Richmond are benefiting from a £4.2m transformation of their school after it was deemed to be in poor condition.

Leading independent management, design and construction consultancy Pick Everard, along with contractor Bowmer and Kirkland, have completed the design, structural and civil engineering works at The Queen’s Church of England Primary School – after it was prioritised for a brand new school.

Work at the school, based in Cumberland Road, Kew, has been completed as part of the Government’s £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme which is rebuilding or refurbishing those school buildings in the very worst condition across the country.

Paul Rothera, director at Pick Everard, said:

“The previous building was no longer fit for purpose with poor lighting, insulation and the costs of ongoing maintenance and repair were significant.  Therefore, demolition was required and a new state-of-art building was created which is more conducive to high quality learning.

“The new school provides a solution where not only do the children and staff benefit from a greatly improved teaching and learning environment, considerable savings have also been made to reduce the ongoing costs of running the school.”

The new school has been designed with a central corridor at each floor level for easy way-finding.  The accommodation forms a two-storey block with a double height hall and single storey kitchen.  The hall and kitchen are located at one end of the building to provide a community facility that can be separated from the rest of the school if required and is a space large enough for use by the whole school when needed.

Classrooms are spread across both floors, with a large practical teaching area located on the first floor.  Reception classrooms are located on the ground floor with direct free-flow access to outdoor play areas and learning zones designed specifically for respective key stages.

The completed building is designed to reduce heat loss with improved thermal properties throughout the construction of the building.  Water efficient fittings have also been installed to reduce hot and cold water consumption, while daylight is maximised with the use of “daylight dimming” which reduces the need for artificial light.

Further environmentally friendly measures include utilising mixed mode ventilation with heat recovery to improve efficiency and eliminate the need to use excessive energy for cooling.  The controls are designed on a room by room basis to minimise wasted energy within each space.

Ed Sutton, Bowmer & Kirkland associate director, said:

“The Queen’s Church of England Primary is one of many schools we have completed, or are currently constructing across the country, for the Education Funding Agency. It is really pleasing to think that Bowmer & Kirkland has been part of the team which has helped to improve the learning environment and future prospects of many young children in the borough of Richmond.”

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) manages £54 billion of funding a year to support all state-provided education for 8 million children aged 3 to 16, and 1.6 million young people aged 16 to 19. There are two phases of the Priority School Building Programme, covering a total of 537 schools.

Under the first phase of the programme, PSBP1, the first school opened in April 2014, five months earlier than originally programmed. More than 160 schools have opened through the initiative and the majority of the 260 schools in the first phase of the programme will open new or refurbished buildings by the end of 2017, two years earlier than originally planned. Under the second phase of the programme, PSBP2, the EFA plans to have all schools open in their new/refurbished buildings by the end of 2021.

The new school is a 2-form entry primary school for 4 -11-year-olds and accommodates 420 children.