The Challenge:

Frederick Holmes School in Hull is an 85-place school for students aged two to 19 with severe physical disabilities and complex learning, communication and medical needs, many of whom have Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD).

The main school was originally built in 1962 for primary school teaching, with extensions added since, and it shared the site with Oakfield School.

The school and local authority wanted to create a refreshed, modern facility with more specific equipment, such as hoists, enteral feeding stations and suitable technology to cater for pupils with a vast variety of disabilities.

Sewell Construction was appointed to complete the £7 million project, which was part of the third phase of the £400 million Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme

Development:

The site was a live environment on a shared campus.

Before work began, early engagement took place to finalise the programme and design for the whole scheme, which was carefully considered to meet the specialist requirements of the end-users.

Weekly meetings with the school’s senior leadership team were held to build relationships and gain a thorough understanding of the required outcome, with plans in place to continue regular meetings and progress tours throughout the project.

Plans were put in place for Oakfield School to be moved, which paved the way for that school to be demolished and the new build and refurbishment of Frederick Holmes to go ahead.

Hoardings were put in place and areas were segregated, keeping the live environment in mind, and deliveries were planned around school pick-up and drop-off times.

Delivery:

Demolition work needed to be phased and disruption kept to an absolute minimum while the school continued to operate.

Traffic considerations were paramount and security was in place at the school gates to ensure everything ran smoothly, while measures were taken to ensure local residents were not disturbed.

Regular site newsletters were issued to key stakeholders to keep them informed of progress on-site and continuous flight auger (CFA) piling was used for the foundations to minimise noise and vibrations.

Results:

• The project was delivered on time, on budget, without any health and safety issues, with 82% local labour and 15 apprentices.

• It was one of the first Special Educational Needs (SEN) school projects for Esteem under BSF and the first PMLD project for Sewell Construction.

• The new school provides a vibrant learning environment and dedicated areas for individual age groups, larger group spaces, a food technology area, community café and media suite.

• Older students occupy a smaller first-floor space, which is accessed by two dedicated lifts and accommodates post 16 students and an independent living area complete with an external balcony.

• A new, enclosed corridor links the new building to the existing hydrotherapy pool and changing rooms, which have been refurbished for school and wider community use.

• The physiotherapy area within the original school has been retained and refurbished.