Gartree High School appointed Wernick Buildings to supply a standalone building to accommodate an increase in students. They required a seamless transition with minimal intervention from teaching staff and timely student occupation. More importantly, the building had to look the part, mimicking the school’s existing building.
With decades of experience within the UK education sector, Wernick specialise in the design and build of modern school buildings. Each project is managed by Wernick’s dedicated construction division to ensure a thorough service and the utmost levels of health and safety.
Gartree’s Deputy Head Ben Rackley and Assistant Head Edward Wilson describe the project and their experience of working with Wernick to procure their new building in Leicestershire.
How did you settle on a modular solution for the new building?
BR: Before obtaining our new building, all Gartree’s classes took place within one large building. Student numbers have increased, and it was time to increase capacity by adding at least four new classrooms. A modular classroom block made sense to us due to the timescales involved. We were aware of neighbouring schools who have chosen this route, and they helped to demonstrate the speed and aesthetics achievable with this building method.
It was vital to us that the new addition matched the look and feel of the existing building, with green, metal window surrounds and brick cladding. Inside the new building would be two science classrooms and two ‘all-purpose’ rooms.
Why were Wernick Buildings chosen to deliver the new building?
BR: During the procurement process, Wernick’s designs were the closest match to the school’s brief: “they looked like Gartree”. Wernick Buildings quoted for a 2-storey, 414 m² block and it was well within our budget – in fact, the quote gave us some room to specify additional features, such as reinforced flooring, triple glazing and PIR lighting.
Wernick really paid attention to every detail on the project – for example, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Wernick had included elements of the existing building in the new block without being asked.
What feedback have you received from users of the building?
EW: I’m lucky enough to teach in the new building and a few things are really clear; first of all we’ve noticed no difference in the behaviour of the children and students who are working in the building, which is exactly what we want.
Teachers find the new building very comfortable – air conditioning throughout ensures a consistent temperature year-round, which is something they are not used to! Rooms are also more spacious, the whole building has an open feel to it.
Triple glazing creates a peaceful environment which is ideal for pupils sitting exams. The quality of the finish is really excellent, it’s a lovely place to work in and we’re finding that teaching here is a real pleasure.
BR: I wanted people to see this as a permanent building, and that is exactly what we have achieved. The modular building fits in perfectly and the finish gives it that wow factor when you walk in.
How did you find the process of working with Wernick?
EW: Wernick provided us with a bespoke, on-plan building that followed our wish for the new building very closely. I was genuinely impressed with that and impressed with what they have supplied.
BR: I had absolutely no time or inclination to manage a traditional building project, but Wernick’s dedicated Construction division managed the project from start to finish. A Project Manager attended site every day – this was a major selling point for me. The team on site were brilliant and having the same point of contact throughout was invaluable.