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Over 40 modules craned in at Priory Fields by offsite specialist Portakabin


The long-awaited £7.5m development celebrates another milestone this week as modules begin to arrive on site

The two-storey modular building on Astor Avenue will replace the current school and provide new hard play and a nature area for students.

Priory Fields School has been waiting almost four years for a new-build solution to its complex, hill-side site. Modular expert Portakabin was appointed by the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) to engineer and design a purpose built, two-form entry school, to replace the multi-level building currently in use.

Forty-four modules in total have been designed and constructed to engineering tolerances of millimetres at the Portakabin manufacturing facility in York. In that time, over 16,000m³ of chalk has been excavated to house the new, fully DDA compliant building. As well as general classrooms and office space, there will also be a double height, multi-purpose modular hall, the latest in innovative building design from Portakabin.

The offsite construction of the modules which make up the new school building have meant that learning and lessons have not been disrupted at Priory Fields and with 90% fewer vehicle movements than traditional construction, there has been less disruption locally.

Andrew Simpkin, Head of Project Delivery at Portakabin is pleased to see the programme moving ahead as planned: “We’ve been working hard through some challenging weather and a changeable environment so it’s fantastic news for the project team to celebrate this momentous stage in the project.”

“It’s a well-known fact that offsite construction is faster than traditional building methods and we’re delighted to have hit this first milestone for Priory Fields to programme. Groundworks and construction of the modules happen simultaneously, reducing our overall time on site; one of the biggest benefits of offsite.”

Handover of the building is due in September 2018.

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