Value:  £4.5m

The Challenge:

As part of a wider programme of works to increase the number of secondary school places and improve the quality of learning for the children of Hull, Hull City Council looked to Hull Esteem and Construction partners Geo Houlton’s for expertise on how to make this happen at St Mary’s College.

The initial brief was to convert the existing sports hall into additional classroom space, but it soon became apparent that the structural integrity of the hall would not accommodate the plans for the extension. Using a collaborative approach, Hull Esteem and Geo Houlton’s recommended to progress the works onto the adjacent building which stood as an old ICT hub.

The Solution:

Proposals were put together to develop a brand-new build on this site which would be split into two main phases, with early works on the internal remodelling of the space taking place pre-construction.

The Challenges:

• The existing building had to be demolished before works could begin. This was undertaken in a live environment which was managed safely and efficiently by the site team,

• Live environment – we took over one of the side access points with restricted operating hours and security controls so that a secure site could be created in which to operate,

• Logistical challenges involved managing the footfall of the college including pupils and vehicles around the area,

• Other logistical challenges included the fit-out of the existing sports hall to provide temporary accommodation for the students whilst the other works were taking place,

• The coronavirus pandemic hit mid-construction whereby the site had to close for three weeks according to National government guidelines. From there, safe working practices had to be developed upon in close conversation with the school to ensure the successful, safe reopening of the site,

• Construction works occurred during examination periods and so we worked very closely with the school to ensure minimum disruption during peak exam times.

The Results:

The scheme has addressed the population boom in the area and increased pupil intake by a huge 300 places, taking the full capacity of St Mary’s College to 1,800.

The new build sees 16 new classrooms, bigger admin office space, 2 ICT rich classroom suites, new toilets, modifications to the existing kitchen in the adjacent block and an extension to carpark at the front of the main college.

The scheme also achieved BREEAM ‘Excellence’ for its efforts to improve the energy efficiency of the building, as well as the early engagement around the project, response to the coronavirus outbreak, mechanical and electrical installations and the traffic plans put in place to ensure the smooth running of the project from start to finish.