Portakabin Hire, the UK’s leading interim modular building specialist, has designed and supplied a complete school for short-term use at Highgate Junior School in north London. The building is in use for two years whilst a new facility is under construction.
Established in 1565 by Royal Charter, Highgate is an independent co-educational day school for pupils aged 3 to 18. The school was founded in the 16th century and its brand new Junior School building will be finished in December 2015 – the school’s 450th anniversary year.
During the construction of the new Junior School building, teaching facilities of a high standard were needed to accommodate Junior School pupils and staff.
Portakabin designed the modular building to meet the school’s precise requirements. It was configured as a single and double storey facility arranged around a landscaped courtyard that provides an additional outdoor space.
Facilities include reception, 16 general classrooms, two science laboratories, music and practice rooms, library, learning support room, IT suite, staff room, school office, cloakrooms, and toilets with disabled access. The building was fully equipped by Portakabin with fire and intruder alarm systems, emergency lighting, data communications, two stair pods, and air conditioning to the IT suite and library.
Commenting on the project, Mark James, Principal at Highgate Junior School, said, “We visited a number of buildings at the outset and were impressed with the quality of Portakabin buildings.”
“Since completion of the scheme, we have received universally positive feedback from parents, pupils and staff – everyone is delighted with the facility. It is bright and well designed, and allows us to zone the year groups together. We particularly like the wide corridors and stairwells, and how spacious and airy the classrooms feel. It also has an attractive, welcoming entrance. We are very happy with the building which is working well.”
Robert Snook, Director and General Manager of Portakabin Hire, said, “The school’s aim for this project was to achieve an interim facility which had the attention to detail and quality of finish that is as close to a permanent building as possible. We are pleased to report that the scheme was delivered on time, is performing well, and that we have received such positive feedback from the school.”
Externally, the building was finished in light dove grey with contrasting blue windows. Portakabin also installed a canopy over the central walkway linking the general classrooms block to the specialist classrooms block as well as a canopy over the main entrance timber decking.
Portakabin provided a complete package of services to Highgate which included assisting in the design process, Building Regulations compliance, ground works and fitting out.
Delivery of the 65 steel-framed building modules had to be timed to minimise any disruption to local residents and to the day-to-day running of the school. This involved detailed planning and time restrictions for the arrival of the modules on site.
Education facilities for short-term use are provided by Portakabin Hire and designed and constructed to permanent standards and in line with the latest Department for Education guidelines for teaching and learning.
The buildings incorporate design best practice and generously-sized, light, modern classrooms. The accommodation can be configured as learning clusters, standalone teaching blocks and even single classroom buildings to meet a school’s precise requirements.