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Portakabin completes state of the art £5m school for growing Aylesham community


Aylesham Primary School’s new permanent building was completed by Portakabin, the UK’s leading expert in modular construction for 420 pupils after just nine months on site.

With Phase 1 completed, children and teachers were able to return at the start of the new term in September. Phase 2 is due for completion in 2018.

Built over two storeys and made up of 30 modules, over 2,300m² of space was manufactured and fitted out off-site at the Portakabin manufacturing facility in York. Production ran from October until February before the modular slices were delivered and installed in March over a seven day period. This allowed foundations and groundworks to continue onsite in preparation for the modular building to be craned into position; a valuable benefit of using off-site construction.

Once in place, the module interiors were finished on site and included; full interior decoration, joinery works, lift installation, internal light wells fitted between floors, full kitchen furnish, ICT placement, new incoming mains services and construction of partition walls.

The team at Portakabin had over 40 operatives on site each week, dedicating a total of almost 85,000 man hours to ensure the children of Aylesham were in their new school in time for the start of term.

Designed with a modern learning environment in mind, the school has teaching spaces for reception, infants and junior pupils as well as a multi-purpose hall, kitchen and food science teaching room as well as a play area and landscaped gardens outside.

Steve Newell, Director at Portakabin comments: “The entire Aylesham community benefits from this new purpose-built Portakabin school and the completion of Phase Two in 2018 will offer new and improved outdoor space. Since we started working on site we’ve supported the school throughout the entire process; we decanted the old building and attended school assemblies. We also installed child-friendly viewing portals around our hoardings to encourage inquisitive pupils to watch the process of removing their old school and the construction of new soft and hard play areas.”

“The new buildings have given us the chance to start afresh with the best possible facilities and will help us make a much more positive learning environment for the children”, said Tanya Neil, School Business Manager at Aylesham Primary School. “We have a more efficient system of heating and lighting throughout the school. There are now dedicated rooms for science, art, food technology, music and special educational needs – as well as multiple classrooms for general use. When the children returned, they were so impressed with what they saw. I kept hearing ‘wow’, ‘brilliant’ and ‘amazing’ as I walked around the school.”

The rebuild is part of the Government’s £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme which is rebuilding or refurbishing those school buildings in the very worst condition across the country.

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