The Outset Centre
Client London Borough of Waltham Forest
Consultant NPS Group
Value £485,845

The Outset Centre

We recently completed the refurbishment to the Outset Centre at Forest Pathway College for the modernisation and upgrade of learning facilities for 64 young people aged 15 and 16, who were either new to the borough or required additional support. Located on Grange Road, the Centre had been part of a disused factory refurbished and extended in 2002. Our initial engagement ensured solutions were specific to the Centre’s development of its existing buildings and surroundings to provide significant benefits for the local community.

The Outset Centre is part of the Schools Capital Improvement Works programme, a 3-year Multi-Trade Measured Term Contract (MTC) for over 12 education projects in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Scope of works:

  • Demolition of existing partitions for new multi-purpose spaces.
  • Fenestration upgrades: enlargement of ground floor window; installation of new ground floor windows along the north-west and south-west sides; new third floor access door to the northeast elevation.
  • Internal modifications included refurbishment of café, head teacher’s office, meeting room, three classrooms, staff room, sensory/calming room, flooring, floor finishes, suspend ceilings, male and female toilets and corridor.
  • Remodelling of the changing rooms in Science / Art Lab.
  • Repairs and repainting of render, fire exit gate and graffiti removal.
  • Installation of a 2.4m high fence along the north-west elevation and new gate along the south east elevation.
  • New landscaping of raised decking, steps, planters, benches and seats along the south-east elevation.
  • Refuse and storage facilities fronting Grange Road

Challenges:

  • Prior to commencement on site the following areas had to approved by the Local Planning Authority: site investigations, clearance works, demolition, siting, design, height, finish of all new walls, gates, fencing, railings and boundary treatments.
  • Internal and external refurbishment works were completed in stages.
  • Change of use from offices to education without altering scale and dimensions.
  • Programme required careful coordination of activities whilst buildings remained occupied to ensure no disruption to the curriculum and day to day activities.
  • Safeguarding and operating a strict ‘permit to work’.
  • The existing space between site and car park needed to be made more defensible due to an increased risk of crime.

Solutions:

  • Cosmur worked collaboratively to ensure the 14-week programme was fast tracked to ensure works were coordinated as efficiently as possible.
  • Stage One took 8 weeks and was carried out over the summer holidays up to College occupation.
  • Stage Two took 6 weeks and works progressed in a live and occupied environment.
  • The programme was staggered to minimise disruption to the school’s day to day activities, particularly in relation to the front areas.
  • Extensive stakeholder engagement maximised the effectiveness of the team in partnership with the College; Council; Metropolitan Police; Secure by Design; Fire safety; Rail for London (RfL); Highways Officer; Environmental; Nature Conservation; Refuse and recycling facilities.
  • We engaged extensively to help regenerate spaces with improved security, a new entrance gate, cleared walkways and alleyways which had previously been dark, unlit and prone to anti-social behaviour.
  • We operated a strict permit to work and identity card system coordinated with the client team and DBS screening for all our personnel on site.
  • We enhanced the landscape and aesthetics by removing graffiti and adding raised decking, steps, planters, benches and seats along south-east elevation.
  • Our site teams were prepared to mobilise very quickly and efficiently to deal with last minute requests for additional works and adopted a fluid and adaptable approach to executing works in a speedy manner.
  • All works were completed on time at the beginning of September, ready for the start of the new academic year.