"Response to the new building has been overwhelmingly positive..."

The Holt School

A Textbook Answer to Accommodation Problems from The Holt School

Two of the biggest problems facing schools in Britain today are aging building stock and oversubscription. The Holt School in Wokingham recently found itself in the unfortunate position of displaying symptoms of both these issues.

“Our Sixth form common room was becoming cramped, and was no longer the quiet study area we wanted to provide for our students,” commented Janet Perry, Business Manager for the School. “We also had two old timber frame classroom blocks that were beginning to show their age.” The school decided that replacing the old classrooms with a new two-storey block would solve both problems at once.

Like all schools, the solution to these problems needed to be cost efficient and delivered quickly. “To receive funding for the project we needed to meet a limit on the price per square meter ,” Janet told us. The school would also be without four classrooms for the duration of the project, meaning a drawn out construction process was out of the question. Ridge and Partners LLP were brought in as architects on the project, and recommended using modular after having delivered another modular project earlier in the year. Partner Adrian Goulding commented “The time for delivery of building and design reviews is massively reduced with a modular programme, and we knew it would also help us meet the price per square meter.”

This wouldn’t be the first modular building for the school, as they had previously worked with Wernick to provide a two storey classroom block many years before. Ultimately, Wernick would be the ones to build the new block.” We went through a full tender process,” commented Janet, “and Wernick Buildings’ submission most closely responded to our requirements.”

The new 981m2 block was installed in just 3 days, with the total programme lasting only 14 weeks. The ground floor is dominated by an open plan study area complete with a small kitchen area, and also features meeting rooms and office space. The upper floor contains three classrooms as well as more office and study space.

Architecturally designed, the building is finished with brick to the ground floor and render to the second floor, with grey cedral cladding features around the windows. Externally, the building also incorporates a partially covered patio area accessed via a bi-folding door from the study area.

“The response to the new building has been overwhelmingly positive,” Janet told us. “We would absolutely recommend a modular build for another school. The demands on schools are always changing, and modular buildings provide the flexibility to accommodate that.”

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