A secondary school in Gravesend is celebrating the latest milestone of a £5.5 million major redevelopment project to transform facilities and increase student capacity.
Saint George’s Church of England School held a small-scale topping out event on Friday 4 December to mark the completion of the steel frame structure for the new state-of-the-art teaching block being constructed to increase pupil numbers and replace dilapidated facilities.
The facility will provide much-needed new teaching spaces for English, maths, music, modern foreign languages and media, as well as a new dance and drama studio and a sixth form centre. It will allow the school to expand pupil capacity from 900 to 1,050 across years seven to 11 by 2027.
Property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood is providing full multi-disciplinary building consultancy services after helping the school secure the funding through Section 106 contributions from Kent County Council and a successful Condition Improvement Fund bid from the Department for Education.
Andrew Marchant, associate at Ingleton Wood, said: “We are very pleased to have reached this important milestone of the major redevelopment which will bolster provision in the local area whilst providing first-class facilities to match the standard of education at Saint George’s Church of England School.
“Our multi-disciplinary teams are working seamlessly through the Covid-19 restrictions and are working collaboratively with project partners and stakeholders to ensure the work remains on programme and to budget.”
The low-key ceremony marked the last steel beam being put into place of the three-storey facility. Work started in August 2020 and is set to complete by January 2022.
Stephen Carey, executive headteacher of Saint George’s Church of England School, which is run by Aletheia Anglican Academies Trust, said: “We have worked tirelessly to bring together funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency and Kent County Council to deliver this significant and impressive project.
“We are delighted to celebrate with project managers Ingleton Wood and contractors Beardwell Construction such an important milestone in this much-needed redevelopment of facilities at Saint George’s Church of England School for the benefit of the Gravesham community.
“The design of the new spaces will allow even greater creativity and active engagement in the lessons provided. The new sixth form centre will allow students the facilities they need to continue to excel and to support them in adapting to the most up to date version of learning and working environments. We look forward to continuing working with our project partners and stakeholders.”
The next phase of construction includes the start of the superstructure masonry work and the completion of the roof structure.
Brigita Davidonyte, project contracts manager at Beardwell Construction, said: “We are a leading regional contractor committed to working closely with the clients and communities.
“We are very pleased to be working on this project as this new building will enable students at the school to benefit from modern and spacious facilities. This is an important milestone in the life of the project.”
Ingleton Wood is one of the largest property and construction consultancies covering Central England, East Anglia, London and the South East, with offices in Colchester, Norwich, Cambridge, Billericay, Oxford and London. Its services include architecture, building surveying, building services engineering, planning, interior design, civil and structural engineering, quantity surveying, project management and health and safety.