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Complete sixth form teaching, learning and study centre for 220 students delivered and fitted out in just six weeks

Organisation : Holmes Chapel School

Application : Education

Product : Ultima Vision

Location : Cheshire

Requirement :

In June 2012, Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School and Sixth Form College discovered significant structural defects in its existing sixth form building and was given emergency funding for a temporary sixth form teaching and learning solution for the start of the new academic year. 

With only six weeks to complete the project from start to finish – and with the London Olympics monopolising modular building stocks nationally across the country – the school faced a near impossible challenge to get the new facilities complete and open in time for the beginning of September.

Solution :

Gill Benning, the Director of Business Resources at the school, says: “We thought it would be an impossible task. We needed high-quality teaching and study facilities for 220 students in a matter of weeks. There was no room for manoeuvre; we simply had to have the facility ready or there would be no sixth form teaching.”

The school approached several modular building suppliers to see what they could do and also to seek best value.

Executive Head, Denis Oliver, says: “From the very beginning, Portakabin gave us complete confidence they could deliver exactly what we needed within our short timeframe. They seemed undaunted by the project challenges, and we knew their buildings offered the high standards we were looking for.”

Portakabin drew up initial plans for the buildings within a couple of days. The designs were finalised by the end of July, giving Portakabin four weeks to get the buildings installed and fitted out for the start of term.

Gill Benning continues: “The project was a genuine collaborative effort. Portakabin handled the planning and Building Control applications and ensured everything was quickly and smoothly approved. There were regular discussions, and our Portakabin project manager went above and beyond many times to ensure the buildings were delivered and installed on schedule.”

Portakabin created a spacious, open-plan sixth form study centre using its Ultima Vision building system, with a full-height glazed wall across the front elevation. Two large double classroom buildings were positioned adjacent to the study building at either side of a central courtyard. One of these buildings houses two multi-purpose classrooms, while the other provides an art room fitted with extra sinks and vinyl flooring, and a cyber café for the students.

The Portakabin buildings will provide full sixth form facilities for at least two years, until the existing building is repaired.

 “The new buildings are stunning and in combination with the landscaped courtyard create a really impressive sixth form site. The teachers and students absolutely love the buildings and would be happy to stay here permanently. If it wasn’t for the expertise and fast response of Portakabin, we would have had nowhere to accommodate our sixth form students this year.”

Gill Benning, Director of Business Resources, Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School 

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