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Seven new schools completed in £135m project

Part of the Priority School Building Programme, the project provides over 8,000 pupils with new purpose-built schools 

Posted by Hannah Vickers | February 22, 2017 | Facilities & buildings

Developer and investor, Kajima has completed the handover of seven education facilities built across Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading, as part of a £135 million joint project undertaken by Kajima and partner Interserve Investments Ltd

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. The project has provided more than 8,000 pupils with seven new modern, purpose-built secondary schools, and created a further 900 additional places for 11-18 years olds. This is one of five batches of schools to be funded using the Government’s PF2 private finance model and the 19th privately financed education project in which Kajima has invested. 

The seven schools on the project are Kings Langley School, Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School in Hatfield, Goffs School in Cheshunt, Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead, Reading Girls’ School, Stopsley High School in Luton and Westfield Academy in Watford. 

Contracted to the Education Funding Agency (EFA), Kajima and Interserve began construction work in March 2015, assuming primary responsibility for design and construction, as well as hard facilities management and lifecycle services for the seven schools over a 25-year concession period. Kajima and Interserve have created modern, multi-purpose assets to satisfy educational demand and serve the local community for the years to come. 

The seven schools are characterised by innovative and modern designs that respond to numerous site constraints, whilst also meeting strict design quality and educational provision standards mandated by the EFA within tight budgetary controls. Design elements of Kings Langley School, which was completed in September 2016, were replicated in the further six schools within the project using a host of standard design principles to ensure that the building is both functional and flexible. 

Optimising passive environmental solutions, such as maximising the orientation of the building to enhance natural daylight and ventilation will ultimately lead to reduced operational running costs over the long term. 

Craig Smailes, Project Director of Kajima Partnerships, said: “We are delighted to announce the completion of the seven PSBP schools in what has been a difficult market. Kajima worked closely with the Principal Contractor to ensure the design and construction of each school correctly responded to the comprehensive facilities output specification and financial benchmarks required by the EFA. 

We have long-standing experience in designing and building schools, as well as an enduring commitment to public sector projects in the UK - Craig Smailes, Project Director of Kajima Partnerships

“We have long-standing experience in designing and building schools, as well as an enduring commitment to public sector projects in the UK. Our involvement in this project reaffirms Kajima’s support of the Government’s efforts to modernise the exiting School’s estate recognising the influence modern teaching facilities have on educational outcomes.”

Charles Ainslie, School Business Manager, Reading Girls’ School said: “Reading Girls’ School now occupies a new 8100m2 building, housing all its educational needs under one roof. The attention to detail and quality of build meant our handover didn’t turn into weeks or months of items being finished while we got on with the first term in the new building. Community liaison has been impeccable with all local issues dealt with in an understanding and considerate manner, maintaining our relationship with our close neighbours. The onsite project team kept us in the communications loop at all times and worked around our needs to minimise any disruption. Having a single point of contact for all the various elements from the design to operational use has meant the incredible coordination happening in the background has been almost invisible to us meaning that there has been minimal impact on the resources we have had to devote over the four years to this project from concept to reality. Interserve Kajima has and will ensure Reading Girls’ School provides our students the best possible environment to secure their future.” 

Scot Machen Finance & Business Director for Westfield Academy stated: “Westfield Academy is very pleased with IK’s collaborative approach to the delivery of the project, through open and honest communication we have had our hand held on every step of the design and build process which has ultimately resulted in superb facilities that will obviously benefit both staff and students in years to come.” 

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