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"I would never have guessed that such a large building project could have gone so smoothly and looked so good..."

Clyst Vale Community College

Devon College gets Wernick Makeover and Morale Lift

Clyst Vale Community College has received, “a value for money makeover that has been hugely beneficial to the personal development of the staff and students and given a tremendous morale boost to the college community”. Only eight months earlier college Principal Dr Kevin Bawn had been feeling somewhat less upbeat when he received news that a relocation plan for the entire college had been shelved.

The college was left with a campus that included seven outdated, energy inefficient buildings that would not last much longer without major refurbishment. Ann Hopkins, the college’s buildings manager, who together with the school governors were the driving force to bring the school’s building stock into the 21st century, came up with a plan that the local education authority approved very quickly.

Instead of refurbishing the old temporary buildings Devon County Council agreed to a capital investment of £2.27m for the immediate supply of new modular accommodation. Wernick Buildings was appointed to supply four new modular buildings that were delivered in just eight months, with planning permission included in this time. This was an incredible feat that was recognized by the college at the opening ceremony.

The 57 modules that comprise the modular buildings were delivered to schedule giving the college 18 new larger than normal classrooms for teaching English, Music, Performing Arts, Mathematics and ICT. The 6th Form was also supplied with a meeting room and careers library.

The adjacent music and drama rooms were fitted with sound proofing, factory prepared sprung floors and four smaller practice rooms. Co-location of curriculum areas has supported effective teaching and learning, but above all has greatly enhanced departmental communication and management. What has been achieved has lifted the college community tremendously and given attractive piazza areas between the new developments that are well used by students.

Principal Dr Kevin Bawn said of the project, “In the middle of all this we had an Ofsted inspection, but all went well, not least because of the tremendous co-operation between all the companies involved in the development, and Ann Hopkins. The completed modular buildings are well constructed and blend into the landscape, keeping the ‘village’ feel to the school grounds. I am both happy and relieved; I would never have guessed that such a large building project, with an inspection taking place in the middle of it, could have gone so smoothly and looked so good.”

 

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