Foremans Relocatable Building Systems, a member of the Portakabin Group and the UK’s largest supplier of refurbished Portakabin buildings, has been awarded a £1.6 million contract to build a purpose-designed sixth form centre at Higham Lane School in Nuneaton.
Higham Lane is the joint highest-performing state-funded secondary school in Warwickshire, and has performed within the top 100 of all secondary schools in England. The new building, which is now under construction by Foremans, will allow the school to provide a high quality, direct, post-16 progression route for its students for the first time, maintaining standards and outcomes far above national levels.
The sixth form centre will be built by Foremans using 52 recycled and refurbished steel-framed modules. The two-storey building will be delivered in less than six months from receipt of order to be open in time for the school’s first intake of sixth form students in September this year. Cranage of the refurbished modular structure is being timed for the school holidays to minimise any disruption to teaching.
This is Foremans’ 11th school project with education construction consultants Surveyors to Education who are designers and contract administrators for the scheme.
The building will feature large amounts of glazing for a high level of natural light, with brick cladding to complement neighbouring facilities, and areas of bright red rainscreen cladding to reflect the school’s colours.
Commenting on the project, Ben Elliott, Director of Corporate Services at Higham Lane School said, “There is a shortage of quality sixth form provision in our area and feedback from students has indicated a strong preference to stay on and study for A-levels at Higham Lane School.”
“The Foremans pre-owned approach offers us significant benefits – it is very cost effective and the building will look brand new once it is completed. It is giving us more certainty to have the new sixth form up and running by September because the majority of fitting out takes place off site. Knowing that Foremans is a member of the Portakabin Group gave us even greater peace of mind along with their excellent relationship with Surveyors to Education.”
Martin Hier, Director at Surveyors to Education said, “The school wants this to be a statement building which will also blend in well with existing facilities. It is designed to meet the specific requirements of sixth form learning, which includes teaching spaces to accommodate smaller groups.”
“We have a strong and long-standing relationship with the Foremans team and enjoy pushing the boundaries on each new education scheme we collaborate on. We take a standard building solution and enhance it to meet the school’s requirements – whether that is for aesthetics or as here, specific classroom sizes.”
“We would definitely recommend recycled modular buildings to other schools and colleges. The approach is very sustainable because we are re-using an existing building structure – which is still in perfect condition, and at the same time we can reduce lead times and carbon emissions. Foremans modular buildings are also really flexible so layouts can be reconfigured to meet changing local needs.”
The Higham Lane sixth form centre will accommodate up to 300 16-19 year-old students and will have 17 seminar rooms, an art room, two science laboratories, and common room with café area.
Foremans’ 10 previous projects with Surveyors to Education have included a two-storey school complex at Billingbrook School in Northampton and a single-storey community college building with five classrooms and an IT hub at Winstanley College in Wigan.