Morgan Sindall delivers 8,000 North West schools

Thousands of students across the North West will be starting the academic year in brand new school buildings delivered by construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall.

September marks the official handover of the Priority Schools Building Programme’s (PSBP) North West batch, which has involved the transformation of 8,144 school places for the Education Funding Agency (EFA).

The programme has seen Morgan Sindall transform 12 schools in Blackpool, Chester, Wigan, Manchester, Stockport and Merseyside, under a contract awarded to a Morgan Sindall Investments/Equitix consortium in August 2014.

Morgan Sindall’s high-quality standardised MySchool solution proved ideal for requirements and delivered efficiencies that enabled the EFA to save £34.9 million.

The new classrooms are a world away from the institutional, airless, strip-lit environments that some of us may remember from our school days. These students will enjoy light and airy classrooms that have been specifically designed to create an optimum learning and teaching environment.

The EFA’s aim was to provide purpose-built, innovative school buildings to those in most need of urgent repair, providing first rate education facilities for the next generation.

Delivering outstanding educational environments of this nature on a tight budget is a challenge and requires innovative solutions.  The EFA’s challenging affordability constraints required a different design approach.

Fresh air and natural light are key components in creating a positive learning space and this is a key focus in the MySchool design. Each room is naturally ventilated and daylight is maximised in classrooms, with integrated blinds to avoid glare.

Special focus has also gone into the audio elements of each classroom. Acoustic panels mounted on the ceilings and walls within classrooms ensure optimum acoustics, ensuring teachers and pupils can hear and be heard with ease.

The customisable solution has the flexibility to work for the smallest school of 105 pupils through to the largest school of 1,750 pupils, while providing price certainty for construction, lifecycle maintenance and long term operation.

Barry Roberts, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “As we know, environment has a significant impact on the learning and teaching process. Thoughtful, expert design based on substantive research, means we can create environments that bolster the learning experience, rather than hinder it.

“Delivering this kind of provision on a mass scale within tight budgets is where the real challenge lies and we’re incredibly proud that the EFA chose Morgan Sindall as the delivery partner on these 12 landmark school buildings.

“Our MySchool programme has enabled the integration of outstanding, considered design solutions within a cost-effective, sustainable, standardised framework that has created real efficiencies. This approach, which has pupil wellbeing at its heart, has enabled us to work with our project partners to deliver the next-generation school facilities that will help our children to thrive and achieve their potential.”

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