£14 million Rockwood Academy expansion completed
Morgan Sindall Construction has handed over an ambitious expansion to Rockwood Academy in Alum Rock, Birmingham, delivering an additional 450 school-places to the local area.
Procured through the Constructing West Midlands framework, work on the £14 million scheme began in 2019. The main contractor has delivered the project in partnership with Acivico, the multi-disciplinary construction consultancy which manages the framework. Funding for the scheme came through the Birmingham City Council Capital Education program, awarded to the local authority through the Department for Education’s Basic Need grant.
The expansion of Rockwood Academy, based on Naseby Road, has enabled the council to satisfy growing demand for more school places by increasing its pupil numbers from 648 to 1050.
Designs for the two-storey 2,200 square foot building included the demolition of the old administration building at the entrance of the school. The extension now acts as a new gateway into the school and includes then additional classrooms, a new library, additional science labs, and a drama studio.
Outside, there has been extensive external landscaping as well as the provision of a new multi-use games area for outdoor activities. There has also been a significant amount of refurbishment to the existing school facility with several areas reconfigured including a new atrium and social space added at its centre, creating a new heart for the school.
Rather than using a traditional brick material for the external walls, the main contractor utilised a corium brick-cladding system. This cladding comprises brick slip tiles which are specially manufactured to clip into a steel backing section. The cost-effective solution promises a stronger and more durable wall face as well as a more aesthetically pleasing design.
The main structural frame used an offsite modular structural insulated panel system (SIPS) providing superior quality, cost effective, more energy efficient structure as well as reducing waste and improving sustainability.
Construction was disrupted early in the year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Morgan Sindall Construction worked quickly to ensure that social distancing measures were applied consistently throughout the supply chain, meaning work could restart safely.
A fully OJEU compliant framework, Constructing West Midlands has a 16-year track record in the delivery of publicly funded projects. A publicly owned and managed framework, it sets high standards for the provision of economic and social value. As a contractor partner, Morgan Sindall Construction ensures each and every one of its projects delivers lasting social value.
In Morgan Sindall Construction’s time on the framework, it has delivered in excess of £240 million of projects, eliciting more than double that amount in social value for local communities across the region. It was successfully reappointed to the latest iteration of Constructing West Midlands framework which was launched last November and is expected to run for a minimum of four years.
During the expansion of Rockwood Academy, Constructing West Midlands and Morgan Sindall Construction produced a social action plan and ensured the work supported the local economy. This included the use of a local construction supply chain as well as working closely with nearby community groups and charitable organisations to create jobs and work experience opportunities for local people.
Chris Hall, Group Managing Director of Acivico Group, comments: “This is a best practice example of the type of work which is consistently delivered by Constructing West Midlands and its framework partners. Morgan Sindall Construction has created a superb learning environment and, by collaborating with us, has left a long-lasting and positive legacy in the local community.”
Dave Kelly, CWM Framework Manager, at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are really pleased to have handed over the new extension for Rockwood Academy, and to have delivered this important upgrade to the school facilitating vital extra school capacity.
“We have worked on the CWM framework for eight years on a number of high-profile community projects and, thanks to its stringent dedication to collaborative working, innovation in construction and social value initiatives we were able to complete the project ahead of programme and provide career and learning opportunities for hundreds of local people and local businesses.
“The new build has brought a state-of-the-art learning environment to 450 new students, and we would like to thank all our project partners for their effective collaborative efforts in achieving that.”