Northumberland County Council (NCC) is undertaking a £57m reorganisation of schools in the Ponteland area as it moves from a three-tier to a two-tier system, and this new build school forms a major part of the initiative.
It is the intention that the new school building, designed by Howarth Litchfield, will be of wide social benefit, improving the educational experience for the children of the community of Darras Hall and allow the school to build upon their outstanding education provision.
Being built on the site of Darras Hall First School on the current sports pitches, the development will be split into three phases with the first phase comprising the construction of the new school and associated car park works. Phase 2 will comprise part demolition of the existing school with formation of a new full-size pitch and two new multi-use games areas, and Phase 3 being the demolition of the remaining school and the provision of two new smaller pitches to this location.
In conjunction with the Council, Faithful+Gould proposed a phased approach to enable part of the existing school to remain operational until the new building was built. This prevented the need for an alternative facility during the works. As a result of this, we did not need to bring in additional facilities to site the children which would have meant both disruption around teaching and additional costs over a period of 12 months for temporary classroom space, which could have been in excess of £300,000.
NCC’s Capital Development and Project Manager, Mark Elliott, commented: “The new building will provide state-of-the-art education facilities that the local children desperately need. Faithful+Gould have ably supported NCC through every step of the process from costing concept designs to the project management of the build on behalf of the client and end user.”