ISG to build Primary School with class in Dorset

Dorset County Council has awarded ISG a £3.9 million project to construct a new primary school on the outskirts of the village of Pimperne, in the north of the county.

The current Pimperne Primary School provides insufficient permanent accommodation for the number of children on the roll, relying on a number of pre-fabricated buildings to provide the required teaching capacity. With inadequate space to extend on the existing site, Dorset County Council has acquired a four and a half acre site on the edge of the village for a new circa 13,000 sq ft single-storey school, which ISG is set to hand over in spring 2015.

Developing an initial design from Terence O’Rourke Ltd, the new steel framed school building has been progressed by Dorset Property, part of the council, in collaboration with Children’s Services, the school, ISG and Roughton Structural Engineers. Sat within an area of outstanding natural beauty, the design responds to its specific location, within a carefully considered landscape to meet the school’s curriculum needs. Locally-sourced materials including flint and larch cladding feature in the school design, whilst high and low level glazing provides excellent natural daylight and ventilation within classrooms. Sustainable measures include a green sedum roof and photovoltaic panels will supplement the school’s electrical demands.

The classrooms are all designed as flexible teaching spaces to cater for the dynamic way in which teaching is delivered. These are complemented with a ‘heart’ space, multi-use hall, staff room and administrative offices. Given the extensive landscape aspect of the project, ISG will construct a wide range of external facilities, including a new sports pitch, multi-use games (MUGA) facility, habitat areas and informal external play. External works include the construction of all roads and services within the site, car parking and hard and soft landscaping, with large numbers of native tree and shrub species planted to further enhance the site and encourage biodiversity.

The scheme has been the subject of an intelligent value engineering exercise, carried out by the design team and ISG to identify efficiencies in design, specification and programme to optimise cost savings, without compromising on the quality and range of facilities at the new school. ISG’s extensive experience delivering efficient model schools was a key factor in this process, helping drive the council’s ‘Best Value’ agenda for capital projects. The project demonstrates a sustainable solution that not only meets the demands of a rural and sensitive location, but also provides a robust and flexible building while ensuring good value for Dorset residents.

Alan McCarthy-Wyper, managing director of ISG’s Construction business, commented:

“Provision of adequate school places is a major consideration across the country and Pimperne Primary School serves a large catchment area with a population that has grown considerably since the three-classroom school was first opened in 1908. The new school has been specifically designed with both current and future requirements in mind. The purpose-built and flexible site, alongside a high-quality building specification, means that the school is constructed to serve the local community for many generations to come.”