Saltersgate Infant School had three options for increasing their nursery capacity; refurbishing existing facilities, a new building constructed on site, or a new building built off site. The choice would be an important one. Like other schools in the area, increases in childcare entitlement for working families meant Saltersgate risked being unable to cope with the imminent increase in demand.
The school, working with the local authority, first considered the refurbishment option, before quickly realising that it wouldn’t be suitable – the quality of the existing buildings was not an issue, the school simply lacked space.
The school’s determination to have the facilities in place for the new school term made the choice between on site and off site construction a simple one. On site construction would take far too long to have a chance of meeting the deadline. Modular companies were invited to tender for the project, which was ultimately awarded to Wernick Buildings.
“The school approached procuring a modular building in exactly the right way,” commented Andy King, Deputy Managing Director at Wernick Buildings. “They didn’t risk wasting time by producing a design before a construction method was chosen. This meant we could work with the school’s appointed architect to ensure the maximum benefits of our product could be achieved through the design.”
The 11 units that made up the nursery were installed in just one day. The building was handed over two weeks ahead of schedule to allow early occupation, ensuring it would be ready for use at the beginning of term.
The building’s footprint is dominated by a single open plan play area, which uses different floor coverings to divide the space. The nursery also features disabled and child specific toilet facilities, office space, kitchenette, group room and internal and external stores.
Externally the nursery is finished with render and a brick skirt, with a colourful porch feature around the main entrance. There are play areas in front of and behind the building, with an external canopy to the rear allowing increased opportunities for outdoor play.