Project : Oaklands Community Primary School – New Build

Project Title: New Community Primary School, Children’s Centre and Community Facilities

Project Type: New Build

Location: Former Parcroft Junior School, Yeovil, Somerset

Employer/Client: Children & Young People’s Directorate Somerset County Council

Sector: Education

Procurement Method: Traditional Drawings and Bills of Quantities

Contract Sum: £8,250,000 to £8,500,000

Role: Quantity Surveyor

Description of Project

Although this was the largest project that Slade Parry Ltd had ever been involved with, the personnel involved and practice as a whole rose to the challenge to provide the high quality service that our clients have come to expect from us. The 4,000m² single storey school was constructed on the playing fields of the existing Parcroft Junior School, which was then demolished once the new school was occupied.

Designed by Property Services of Southwest One Ltd (formerly Somerset County Council), the school was constructed by the Bristol office of ISG Pearce Ltd

The facilities include 16 classrooms in blocks of 4 off a central corridor, with each classroom having its own cloakroom and storage space and each block having its own toilet facilities. The building also has a Main Hall, Production Kitchen, Library, ICT Room plus other activity rooms. The school incorporates a number of community facilities that include a Community Lounge/Cyber Café and ICT Training Room. There is also a Children’s Centre integral with the school, which comprises a Nursery, Family Room and other specialised rooms plus it’s own reception, offices, kitchen and laundry.

The school is of traditional construction with trench fill foundations and a combination of ground bearing and beam block concrete floor slabs. Although the school is a single storey building it was constructed using a steel frame, to give the clear spans required within the teaching areas and other rooms such as the Main Hall, ICT Training Room and Nursery. The external walls were predominantly built with facing brickwork including reconstructed stone feature cills, however some areas were constructed of rendered blockwork and others finished with cedar cladding. Windows and external doors were powder coated aluminium. The roof is constructed using steel trusses covered with a galvanised mild steel decking. The majority of the roof to the main school is monopitch in form with concrete tiled coverings, with approximately 1000m² of flat roof with single ply roof covering to the Central Corridor and Reception Area. The roof to the Children Centre is covered by 900m² of sedum green roof. The external entrances from the classroom blocks were protected by external fabric canopies.

An interesting feature of the building is the central corridor that is over 90m long and has a curved wall one side for the majority of its length, becoming curved on both sides in the Reception and main circulation area. With the use of colour in the decorations this created a “funky” yet highly functional circulation space. This concept did however cause a few headaches for the Structural Engineers, Jenkins & Potter Ltd, as the curved wall feature had to be incorporated within their steel frame design to this area. Natural lighting to the Central Corridor was created by incorporating a number of octagonal rooflights of various sizes within the flat roof structure.

Sustainability features incorporated within the building included 288m² of photovoltaic modules in 5 panels. Slade Parry Ltd assisted Southwest One’s Mechanical Engineer in securing over £86,000 of grant payment towards the cost of the panels from the BRE. Two Energy Display Panels were included within the system, so that the children could see the amount of energy being produced by the photovoltaic cells.

The building was completed and fitted out ready for use by the school including all finishes and decorations. The building incorporated electrical installations including telephone and computer wiring plus mechanical installations including heating and ventilation. The high level windows to most of the rooms are opened by electric actuators, with these windows also having electrically operated blinds. Specialist systems included a complete fire alarm installation, lightning protection, plus CCTV and access control systems to a number of the internal doors and external gates.

The building also incorporates a complete sprinkler system throughout, supplied by an external insitu concrete sprinkler tank and associated pump house.

The site works included a new macadam surfaced main entrance, with an emergency access road and associated footpath to the perimeter to the whole school. The main staff car park is surfaced with concrete block permeable paving above clean stone filling up to 1.50m deep, to provide flood water attenuation for the whole of the site. The playground areas were covered in “Absorb-a-Fall” soft surfacing with feature road way and jigsaw designs to different areas. Metal weld-mesh fencing was installed to the majority of the perimeter of the site, however one side included timber acoustic fencing where the site abuts a housing estate Extensive foul and surface water drainage installations were required to be constructed, including the diversion of existing main sewers which crossed the site.

Consultant Services Provided

The Pre-Contract Services carried out on this project included a review of the client’s original budget, preparation of the Bills of Quantities for inclusion with the tender documents, plus the checking, reporting and negotiation based on the tenders received.

The Post-Contract Services included the continual cost monitoring of the project, including attendance at monthly financial review meetings with the Employer and our Client. The agreement and certification of monthly valuations included reviews of the M & E installations. We were regularly called upon to discuss and deal with a number of contractual matters. Finally we carried out the preparation and agreement of the Final Account.