Conservation area gains new school building
With the expansion of pre-school provision Ermington Community Primary School required extra space rapidly. Until recently this was provided in a conservatory built on to the main school building and a far from suitable village hall. NPS South West, the property design and construction company, was commissioned to design a new building for the school specifically for pre-school children.
The brief from Devon County Council to Keith Stone, the surveyor for NPS was, “to provide a building that would change the style of the familiar mobile classroom.” Cost-effectiveness was top priority as was a tight delivery schedule. Keith approached Wernick who have an office in the West Country. Wernick was able to convert Keith’s specific design requirements into a factory built reality. Keith commented that, “Ermington is an attractive rural village surrounded by woodland. It’s also in a conservation area. So my design had to be sensitive to the surroundings and aesthetically pleasing. I chose modular construction because I have used it very successfully before. It’s fast, cost-effective and can be adapted to just about any educational design concept – it’s limited only by the designer’s imagination".
The four bays which comprise the modular building were delivered and craned-in in one day. Finishing work took eight weeks. The modular building’s stone and timber exterior and slate roof ticked all the right boxes for planning requirements within a conservation area.
At a school or college campus the ability to schedule the delivery of a modular building to coincide with holidays or weekends is often a critical factor for senior staff such as Jane Byrne, Ermington’s head teacher. As it happens this arrangement was not necessary, but Jane is able to claim that the school’s day-to-day activities were not affected by noise or any other disruption from the site.