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Portakabin; delivering schools where no one else can


Priory Fields on Astor Avenue in Dover is the last of six schools manufactured by Portakabin for the Department of Education.

The once hillside school is now fully DDA compliant thanks to a modular design and build by the offsite specialists.

Priory Fields Primary School had been waiting almost four years for a new building on its challenging, hillside site after several traditional construction companies failed to find a solution. The school forms an important part of the local community and the new building has been long awaited by teachers, pupils and parents alike.

Priory Fields was the last of six schools the Portakabin team was tasked with building as part of the Government’s £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). The scheme set out to rebuild or refurbish school buildings in the worst condition across the country and Portakabin was awarded a contract to deliver a selection of schools in the Surrey and Kent batch; Pyrford, Riverview, Aylesham, Send Church of England, Culverstone Green and Priory Fields.

All six schools were manufactured off site and once completed, replaced the current traditionally built facilities.

Nick Griffin, General Manager for Portakabin comments: “We wanted to create outstanding environments for teaching and learning and our offsite approach to the scheme was able to reduce the build programme, much to the benefit of the children’s education.”

Anne Siggins, Executive Head Teacher, Priory Fields Primary School said: “Following a lengthy process due to environmental issues the building that has now been provided has exceeded our expectations and we are delighted with the end result.  Pupils are now learning in warm, well ventilated and well-proportioned classrooms.  The adjacencies of the design ensure that the organisation of the school can be well managed.  The engagement with the building contractors, Portakabin, was always positive and they endeavoured to solve any issues promptly and effectively.  This was extremely helpful and we appreciated all the support given as the construction of a new school was definitely not within our skill set. 

“The quality of the building is to a high standard and we are now enjoying our brand new school.”

Designed by specialist architects, each school was developed in close collaboration with teaching staff with a focus on maximising natural light and ventilation in order to improve concentration levels. Each featured two two-storey classroom wings, which were then separated by a central ‘street’ running the full length of the building, providing good passive supervision as well as zones for informal learning. The buildings also had increased access and space for outdoor play and learning.

Throughout the life of the scheme, Portakabin was able to develop a modular multi-purpose hall following learnings made on site while the programme progressed.

The design team looked to improve the delivery programme by replacing a traditionally built hall with a modular one. This exciting new product now comes as part of its full turnkey school solution; a modular hall suitable for events, sports and assemblies. Both Culverstone Green and Priory Fields Primary School benefitted from this. Traditionally built structures can take up to 14 weeks to build whereas the modular solution designed by Portakabin is manufactured and installed with six weeks.

The modular hall is designed to work in line with the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFA) requirement for primary school halls (180m² and ceilings of at least 4.5m in height) and it far exceeds this. 

The hall is also fully compliant on acoustics, lighting and floor finishes and can be designed to order; and fitted with any additional fixtures such as fitness or AV equipment.

Now schools, colleges and universities can benefit from a modular double height space; considerably reducing time on site and in turn, any disruption to students.

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© Portakabin 2019  I  Portakabin Limited, Yorkon House, New Lane, Huntington, York, YO32 9PT   I   Tel: 01904681719
Registered company number 685303


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