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01 November 2016

Portakabin Group Hands Over 1st New School in £28m EFA Surrey and Kent Batch – on Time and on Budget


Off-site construction specialist, the Portakabin Group, has handed over the first new school in the £28 million Surrey and Kent batch of the Priority School Building Programme. The £5.6 million building for Pyrford Primary School near Woking was successfully delivered on time and on budget.

The scheme for 480 children has replaced two outdated 1960s buildings which Portakabin will now demolish. Pyrford is the first of six primary schools in the Surrey and Kent region being rebuilt by the Portakabin Group under the Government's Priority School Building Programme (PSBP), in contracts worth in the region of £28 million.

Each scheme has been designed in line with stringent Department for Education teaching standards to create outstanding learning environments and is being delivered using Yorkon advanced off-site building solutions.

The use of off-site construction has halved the programme time for completion and occupation at Pyrford, ready for the start of the 2016/17 academic year. The approach has also avoided any interruption to teaching on a constrained rural site which is immediately adjacent to the original school.

Kathryn Krynicki, Head Teacher at Pyrford Primary School said, "We just love our new school! It is bright, light and very spacious. The teaching areas are wonderful learning environments for children and we now realise what poor conditions we had to endure in our old buildings for so many years."

"The Portakabin team has been brilliant throughout and the finishing and attention to detail is to a very high standard. We also really appreciated our tour of the factory in York to see our school being built at first hand - an experience which we could then share with the children. Parents and governors have been really delighted and astonished with the new facilities and what has been achieved in just a few months. We are all very happy with the end result."

Richard Crosby, Project Director at the Education Funding Agency said, "We are very happy with the new school for Pyrford Primary. The quality of the building is very good and we look forward to the successful delivery of the other Priority School Building Programme projects in the Surrey and Kent batch and to achieving even greater efficiencies with the use of off-site construction."

The new school is designed to have high levels of natural light to improve concentration levels, and increased access and space for outdoor play and learning.  Features include:

  • 16 bright classrooms with dual aspect natural light
  • A double-height multi-purpose hall
  • Two teaching wings organised around an internal central 'street' to allow good passive supervision and provide informal group learning space and break-out zones.

Externally the building has been finished in a materials palette of brickwork, neutral white render, and panelised metal in white, dark grey and subtle blues to complement the rural surroundings.     

For further information about Yorkon off-site building solutions from the Portakabin Group for primary and secondary education, call 0845 2000 123, email info@yorkon.co.uk or visit www.yorkon.co.uk.

Editor's Notes 

1.    The benefits of Yorkon off-site building solutions from the Portakabin Group include: 

  • Programme times reduced for earlier occupation to help in the rapid expansion of schools to meet the rising demand for primary and secondary education places
  • Much less disruption to teaching during construction, which is critical when working on fully operational school sites
  • The flexibility to fit almost any building footprint, site and design
  • Invisible columns both internally or externally, for seamless façades that can be specified with or without cladding to complement or contrast with existing school buildings.

2.    Yorkon and the Portakabin Group are registered trademarks. Portakabin is a registered trademark which must only be used to refer to modular buildings that are known to have been manufactured by the Portakabin Group. Please note, Portakabin is not a generic term.

3.    The Education Funding Agency's £4.4 billion Priority School Building Programme is rebuilding and/or refurbishing those school buildings in the very worst condition across the country.  There are two phases of the programme, covering a total of 537 schools. More than 140 schools have opened under the initiative and the majority of the 260 schools in the first phase of the programme (PSBP1) will open new or refurbished buildings by the end of 2017, two years earlier than originally planned.  Under the second phase of the programme (PSBP2), the EFA plans to have all schools open in the new/refurbished buildings by the end of 2021.