Construction gets underway on £4.7m Bridge School project

Representatives from ISG and Concertus joined the head teacher of Bridge School today, to celebrate the start of construction work.

The Bridge School is currently housed on two sites in Ipswich, six miles apart, and caters for children aged three to 16 with special educational needs. When construction is completed in summer 2015, the new accommodation will allow the primary-aged children, who at the moment are based next door to Ipswich Hospital, to join the existing secondary school students at the site in Sprites Lane.

Ipswich-based Concertus Design & Property Consultants, has been involved right from the start, working on behalf of the client Suffolk County Council, to get the details around the final specification and cost agreed, as well as undertaking the feasibility study and carrying out the design. It will now move on to project manage the scheme, which will be constructed by fellow Ipswich-based business, ISG.

Odran Doran, Head Teacher at Bridge School commented:

“We have been discussing the plans to bring the two school campuses together for over three years and I am delighted that I could join the team, to help them kick-start the construction in earnest.”

When the new primary school opens in September 2015, the children’s special educational needs will be met in state-of-the-art facilities. Spacious classrooms, wide corridors and personal care areas that are fully accessible for those children with additional physical difficulties will be a major improvement on current facilities. The provision of calming areas and small group rooms will support curriculum delivery and specialist teaching approaches.

Commenting on the plans for the new school, Odran continued:

“As well as the excellent facilities inside the building, every classroom will have access to their own dedicated outdoor area, an outdoor science classroom, a sensory garden and excellent play facilities. Education beyond the classroom is so important for our pupils and these new facilities will provide incredible opportunities to enhance their learning.”

The project involves the construction of a single-storey cross laminated timber frame structure. Key design considerations include accessibility, ergonomics, internal and external colour palettes and the provision of large natural spaces. Externally, ISG will carry out a landscaping scheme, including the creation of sensory gardens, soft play areas and attractive paving. The building is being designed to be highly efficient and will feature a biomass boiler and high performance building materials to mitigate its impact on the environment.

This project is envisaged as phase one of a staged programme. Future phases will aim to provide improved shared accommodation and replacement facilities for the secondary-aged pupils.

Photo shows Odran Doran, Andrew Rowe from Concertus, Mark Taylor and Jason Keeble from ISG.