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“Pupils, parents, staff, governors and local supports are delighted..."

Stoke Row C of E School

Wernick provides new ‘Sapling’ School Building

‘Out with the old and in with the new’ was the term used by Stoke Row C of E School when describing their new school building, which was aptly named ‘The Sapling’. In 2013 the School celebrated its 160th anniversary and the new classrooms are just part of a major rejuvenation and modernisation of the School’s facilities.

The school had previously obtained planning permission for a full re-development of the site, which had a mix of Victorian building with sundry additions. Unfortunately following the dramatic cuts to government spending it was evident this major project would not receive funding.

The school classrooms had a life expectancy of less than a year, which meant an urgent solution was needed. For staff, replacing like for like with temporary buildings would have been a huge disappointment.  After some research the School came to the conclusion that a modular building was the best option. Clare Cormack, Vice Chair Person and Parent Governor of School, commented, “a modular solution meant the school could receive a permanent quality building which was not only marginally more expensive than a temporary building but also offered a much quicker build programme. Overall this offered dramatic cost savings when compared to a traditional building.”

Property and construction consultants firm, Ridge, were asked to produce a design, which included all specifications and requirements for the buildings foundation alterations. After some glowing reviews from nearby schools Wernick Buildings were chosen as the modular provider. Clare continued, “Wernick offered a very competitive tender with a proven track record of delivery.  Through contacts we also heard excellent reports of other Wernick school buildings situated nearby.”

The older demolished temporary buildings also offered a poor use of space but the new building has been designed to maximise a difficult part of the site, which has allowed the school to increase their playground area. An adjacent tree, which had a tree protection order, also complicated the project and the tree had to be fenced off and protected throughout the whole build programme.

Wernick carried out everything from demolition of the old building through to manufacture and installation of new building onsite.  The new building meets all building regulations and contains all the necessary facilities for a perfect learning environment. From start of manufacture through to delivery and completion took just 13 weeks.

Initial reactions to the new building have been very positive. Claire commented, “Pupils, parents, staff, governors and local supports are delighted with the new building, and everyone is impressed with the quality and also by the speed with which it was erected. The two new spacious classrooms offer a bright, quality and permanent structure that provides an entirely appropriate building for our reception and Key Stage 1 pupils. Classrooms have ancillary areas including toilets for staff and pupils and storage areas and the comfort cooling has caused great delight.”

To minimise disruption to school activities most of the onsite work and building delivery took place during the school holidays. Any works carried out during the summer term when pupils were still present were carried out with carefully planned safe access to play areas. Out of hour deliveries also helped minimise disruption.

The school were very happy with the service provided, Clare added, “on site they (Wernick site team) were very flexible and totally geared to working around an operating primary school. They even cleared the local road of fallen branches when the large units were delivered down country lanes to the school.”

Founded in 1853 Stoke Row C of E School has been closely connected with village Church of St John the Evangelist. The School is at the heart of village life and pupils, parents, staff, governors and local supports raised a significant sum of 10% of the funds towards this scheme. Events across the village are centred at the school throughout the year, such as an annual pancake race, discos in the village hall, summer fairs, and even an annual 10k race, which is organised and marshalled by parents of the school.

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