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Case Study - New Horizons Childrens Centre

Organisation : New Horizons Childrens Centre

Application : Education

Product : Lilliput Nurseries

Location : Knowsley, Merseyside

Requirement :

When Knowsley MBC identified a need to relocate an existing daycare nursery, it decided to combine the new facility with community services to create a brand new Sure Start Children's Centre. Once a suitable site had been found in the grounds of Longview Community Primary School, negotiations began between all interested parties to come up with a building that would meet the needs of parents, carers and their families.

Solution :

Having worked with Portakabin in the past and having been impressed by another Portakabin Children's Centre recently completed in the area, the modular building specialist was one of the suppliers asked to submit a proposal. The contract was awarded to Portakabin following a competitive tender process. The company then worked in close partnership with the project architect, the school, the nursery providers and the Council to design a nursery and full community facility that would fulfil the centre's diverse remit.

The 538m² building designed by Portakabin, based around its award-winning Lilliput nursery system, incorporates four nursery rooms covering the spectrum of 0-4 year-old requirements, two multi-purpose rooms for family, education, health and employment support activities, office space, a consulting room for healthcare and employment professionals, a family room, a laundry, full toilet and kitchen facilities and a small reception area.

With the new Children's Centre being located so near to a traditional school building, it was essential that it complemented the existing architecture. Portakabin offers an array of design features, architectural structures and aesthetic finishes, which enable its clients to create buildings that meet their precise design requirements. For Longview Children's Centre, Knowsley MBC chose to finish the building with a brick skin and pitched roof to achieve the desired traditional appearance.

It was also essential that the new facility connected directly with the school, so Portakabin designed a 15-metre-long corridor linking the two buildings. During school hours, visitors can enter via the school's reception or approach via a footpath directly into the new building.

The new Children's Centre delivers complete wrap-around care for children, as well as a host of health, welfare and educational services for local families.

The Council opted for a full turnkey package from Portakabin, including everything from groundworks through to service connections and fitting out the building. The individual modules were craned into place in a matter of days, minimising disruption to the daily running of the school.

Children's Centre Manager Barbara Kelly says: "This is a brilliant new facility, which we feel sure will be well used by the community. We've only been open a month and already we are very busy. We've held a number of open days to enable parents, carers and professionals to view the facility and find out what is available. The building has been very well received by staff and service providers alike."

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