ISG oversees £10 million pool to classroom transformation in Leeds

ISG has been awarded a £10 million project to transform a disused leisure centre into a new free school in East Leeds as part of the EFA Framework.

The former East Leeds Leisure Centre site will become the new permanent home for the Temple Learning Academy.

The Academy opened at the start of the academic year in autumn 2015 in temporary accommodation as a through-school for 1,020 students aged 4-16 years. ISG has already carried out a refurbishment project to convert offices adjoining the leisure centre into classroom accommodation, including provision of a new dining hall and toilets, as well as construction of a new external play area. This is now fully operational for the school’s first intake of reception aged children, and planning has now been secured for the main school building.

Work on refurbishing and extending the existing leisure centre will begin in February 2016. Once the main building has been handed over, the reception classes currently housed in the converted office accommodation will be moved across, enabling ISG to carry out a further 17-week refurbishment programme to fit out the vacated classrooms as art rooms, music rooms and design & technology studios.

The scheme aims to re-use as much of the existing infrastructure from the former leisure centre as possible. ISG will demolish the swimming pool but retain the steel frame building, and re-use the existing sports hall facility. The internal layout of the leisure centre will be significantly reconfigured to create modern teaching accommodation and ISG will also retain and repair the building’s façade – installing additional windows to bring natural light into the structure.

The scheme also sees ISG build a new three-storey steel frame extension with ribbon glazing and metal cladding elevations, which will be primarily used by older students. Facilities will include SEN (Special Educational Needs) provision, a learning resource centre (LRC), a kitchen, dining area and sports facilities.

The project also sees the construction of a new MUGA pitch and significant hard and soft landscaping with new paths and play areas, a car park for 90 cars and designated drop off areas.

Danny Murray, ISG’s Northern regional managing director, commented:

“This latest win builds on our strong track record delivering innovative Free Schools and Academies across the UK. For this scheme, we’ve worked closely with the EFA and the Academy to best utilise the existing structures on site to create real efficiencies in the construction programme, without compromising on the quality and flexibility of teaching space.

“The transformation of this underused site is set to create a long-lasting and highly positive community legacy, providing greater choice and a much needed boost to school places in East Leeds.”