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Teachers and pupils impressed by spacious, well-equipped classrooms, installed quickly and safely in challenging location

Organisation : Keswick School

Application : Education Buildings

Product : Classrooms

Location : Keswick, Cumbria

Requirement :

Keswick School secured an Academies Capital Maintenance Fund grant to build six new classrooms and a drama studio. These were to be built as the second storey of an existing single-storey maths building, which had to be vacated during the construction works. The school decided to hire interim classrooms and requested tenders from suppliers via the Government Procurement Service.

Solution :

Keswick School Business Director, Dawn Boyes, says: “We evaluated tenders from approved suppliers and chose Portakabin to provide six interim classrooms. Price was obviously an important factor, but it was the customer relationship offered by Portakabin that really stood out.

“They clearly understood exactly what we wanted, had identified all the issues and offered solutions for everything. It meant that when we placed the order, we had 100% faith that Portakabin could deliver precisely what we needed.”

The buildings recommended by Portakabin were three energy-efficient double-classroom blocks, each featuring two large, fully equipped classrooms and a central cloakroom. For Keswick School, Portakabin converted one of these cloakrooms into a staff office.

Dawn continues: “What was remarkable about working with Portakabin was the way they listened to us. When we were forced to make changes to our plans, or to the delivery date, Portakabin quickly adapted the project to overcome any difficulties.”

One of the biggest challenges was getting the buildings onto the restricted site. Many alternatives were discussed, but the eventual solution devised by Portakabin was to remove a wall and manoeuvre the modules in between existing buildings.

Dawn says: “There were just millimetres to spare as the buildings were brought onto site, but Portakabin managed it all very skilfully and professionally.” 

The buildings were installed over two days and fitted out over the following week with data connections, interactive whiteboards, ramps and steps, emergency lighting and fire alarms. The buildings will house the Mathematics department throughout the year-long construction works.

Dawn adds: “The after-care from Portakabin has been superb. They always respond quickly, and the service from the outset has been fantastic.”

“The teachers were initially very hesitant about moving into modular buildings. But now they are in, they don’t want to leave because the classrooms are so spacious. The pupils are very happy with their new ‘maths village’ too, especially as it has excellent ICT facilities and wifi connection.”

Dawn Boyes, Business Director, Keswick School




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