Gordon Infant School
Client London Borough of Redbridge
Consultant Mott MacDonald
Value £3.6M

Gordon Infant School

Due to the increasing additional demand for primary pupil places in the London Borough of Redbridge, Cosmur Construction were awarded the Design and Construction project for the expansion of the Gordon Infant school.

The brief was to expand the school from a 2 Form of Entry (FE) infant school, with 180 pupils to a 2 FE Primary School, increasing pupil capacity to 420, thus allowing the school to cover an age range of 4-11 year olds.

The works were carried out in two phases:

Phase 1:

The enabling works which comprised of the temporary accommodation including services, refurbishment of the school kitchen, external security works and new Muga works. The refurbishment of the kitchen area took place during the summer holidays.

Phase 2:

This phase was split into two sections:

Section 1 – The demolition of existing area to allow for the construction of the new build extensions to the rear of the building and the entrance reception.

Section 2 – Construction of the new two storey classroom block remodelling works to existing areas and completion of the remaining external works including the removal of the temporary accommodation.

Scope of works:

  • The Demolition of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Room
  • Construction of a new block, consisting of 8 classrooms, hall, toilets and circulation areas
  • Internal remodelling of the existing spaces
  • The nature of the works comprised of the Design and Construction of a new two storey classroom block, an extension to the existing building and demolition and remodelling works to the existing school, including associated services and external works.

Challenges:

  • Logistical delivery of modular units due to the restricted access, coupled with narrow residential roads.
  • During the design period, it became evident that the Employers Requirement did not meet the school’s aspirations. For example, the design did not include for Whiteboards in each of the classrooms.
  • There was limited information available on the existing building such as ‘As Built’ and existing services drawings.
  • Working within an occupied school. Site Security, Maintaining Fire Access Routes,Disruption caused by noise and dust

Solutions

  • Prior to commencement on site we carried out extensive surveys to assess contamination, structural integrity and the lay out of the existing services.
  • Our site set up was planned to ensure the surrounding spaces were utilised effectively whilst ensuring it caused minimal disruption to the operations of the school.
  • Our design team liaised extensively with the school to ensure their aspirations were captured through a series of design team meetings and any specification ambiguities were discussed with the project team prior to commencing work.
  • A detailed traffic management plan was produced outlining the delivery route and this was briefed to all operatives and suppliers.
  • All deliveries were booked in advance and we ensured they were not scheduled during the times the children were dropped off and collected from the school.
  • A fire strategy plan was agreed with the school representative and during the induction process all operatives were briefed on ensuring fire exit routes were not compromised and kept clear at all times.
  • Our Site Manager established a relationship with the School representative and met once a week to discuss the works that would be taking place and to forewarn of any possible disruptions.
  • All noisy works were planned in advance and restricted to agreed hours.
  • In order to minimise the amount of disruption to the users of the school, we planned out of hours shut down of the services.
  • We posted notices around the school informing staff, children and visitors of the proposed works. Working areas were clearly defined and segregated through solid ply hoarding and heras fencing.
  • We built up a relationship with the Ilford Army Reserve Centre next door to the school which allowed us to deliver the modular units via their parade grounds. As a thank you we arranged for a charitable donation to be made.
  • It was important to include the children in the works that were being carried out to their school. We arranged for the pupils to visit the site and see what works were taking place and also a ‘grown a sunflower completion’.
  • We registered the project with the considerate Constructors Scheme, of which we are Partners and our Site Manager; Rob Bush achieved Cosmurs highest score of 40 points on this project.