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Sector: Education
Service: Building Surveying | Cost Consultancy | Project Management | Principal Designers

Ashcombe Primary School is a thriving educational establishment that was originally constructed back in 1969. In 2018, Hookway completed a condition survey for the school which led to some major concerns around the suitability, condition and safety of its two large teaching blocks.

Hookway suggested the school put plans in place to replace these buildings and we were appointed to assist them with this process. We designed the replacement building as an extension to an existing block, allowing one of the blocks to remain operational during construction and avoiding the need for temporary classrooms. Planning permission for this was granted in 2019.

Overcoming the Funding Challenge

Despite evidencing high need, our initial applications for CIF Funds were rejected on the basis that the school had not actually closed. Nevertheless, we persevered, fully supporting the school and trust in managing the situation. This included condemning one of the blocks and carrying out regular condition surveys to ensure that the pupils and staff were kept safe.

Funding was eventually obtained in 2022 through a successful ‘Urgent Capital Support’ bid. We also supported the school with planning permission and procurement of temporary classrooms that were required due to the continued deterioration of the existing structures.

The funding was granted on the basis that we develop the design further and we were subsequently appointed by the school to act as its Employer’s Agent, Project Manager and Principal Designer under the CDM regulations. We were then able to procure the Architect, Structural Engineer and Mechanical & Electrical Engineering consultants required to develop the detailed technical design which Hookway then tendered under a Design & Build Contract.

We have recently assisted the school with all of the pre-construction work along with various issues relating to the site, including important ecology work (badger exclusion), asbestos removal and some tricky planning conditions.

Hookway have been proud to support and manage this project through from inception and we will continue to do so until completion. The new extension will ultimately achieve ‘BREEAM Excellent’, providing the school with a new entrance reception, offices, 6 classrooms, toilets, a new hall and kitchen servery to replace the condemned blocks.

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“The whole project was entirely ‘self-sufficient’ as far as the school leaders were concerned, apart from pre-agreed meetings/decisions along the way, and the building was completed to a very high spec in a safe and efficient way. We would have no hesitation in recommending Hookway to other schools.”

“Tom Bishop led us through the two-year process with a calm and professional demeanour. His contribution to the project was central to the completion of the building on-time (during the pandemic) and the design outcomes have suited our teaching and performance needs completely. A highly successful design and architectural project.”

“This year we had two bids totalling over a one million pounds for Lawn Manor. Our new boilers and plant, and new roof projects have gone completely smoothly, safely and within budget.”