With pupil numbers increasing dramatically at Alvie Primary School in the Scottish Highlands, the two existing classrooms in the main school building could no longer provide enough space for all the children. A third class had to be created to accommodate the increased pupil intake, which meant a new classroom had to be provided within a matter of months. And because the school was located in the Cairngorm National Park, any new building would have to meet strict National Park planning regulations.Solution :
Iain Macrae at The Highland Council tasked with sourcing a new building for the school, had recently hired a number of Portakabin buildings for other primary schools in the region. He says: “I had been impressed by the standard of the buildings provided by Portakabin on hire, and the service we received had been excellent. Now that we needed to buy a building at short notice, it was clear that modular construction was the best option, so I went back to Portakabin to see what they could offer.”
The solution offered by Portakabin was a double classroom block with integral storage areas and a disabled-access toilet, constructed from the company’s market-leading, energy-efficient Ultima building modules.
The configuration was adapted to meet the school’s specific requirements, with the headteacher closely involved in the design process. One classroom would be used to house the new class and the other would be a general-purpose room that doubled up as the canteen and dining room.
The planning application for a new classroom building at Alvie Primary School was called in for special consideration by the National Park authorities. However, the need for additional teaching space was so urgent that parents raised a petition and the local MP intervened to try to push through the decision. The planning authority gave consent, but only on the condition that the new building met strict requirements relating to its appearance and location which Portakabin successfully fulfilled. Despite the planning permission delays, Portakabin was able to deliver the building a day ahead of schedule.