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26 April 2016

Portakabin Group Completes Building Installation Phase for £5.6m Primary School Contract


Off-site construction specialist, the Portakabin Group, has craned the final modules into position on site at Pyrford Primary School near Woking for a new £5.6 million building to accommodate 480 children.

The project is replacing an existing facility which is beyond repair. It is the first of six schools in the Surrey and Kent region being rebuilt under the Government's Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) by the Portakabin Group in contracts worth in the region of £28 million.

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

The structure for the new Pyrford Primary School has been manufactured off site in York using the latest modular technology.  It was craned into position on site in Woking in just seven days during the school holidays.  A large 500-tonne crane was used to lift the steel building modules, weighing up to 20 tonnes, from an adjacent cricket field and over trees.

The use of off-site construction is halving the programme time for completion and occupation ready for the start of the 2016/17 academic year. The original school building will then be demolished.  The approach has avoided any interruption to teaching on this constrained rural site which is immediately adjacent to the existing school.

Kathryn Krynicki, Head Teacher at Pyrford Primary School said, "We were delighted and excited to return from the school holidays to see our new building already in place. This is another key milestone in the project and in the history of the school.  Our current facilities are beyond repair so we are really looking forward to having a brand new, purpose-designed school which will transform the learning environment for our children and our staff." 

Pupils and teachers will benefit from a completely new school, with high levels of natural light and increased access and space for outdoor play and learning.       

Designed by architects Surface to Air, the two-storey school will have 16 bright classrooms with dual aspect natural light and a double-height multi-purpose hall.  Two teaching wings are organised around an internal central 'street' with atrium light wells. This feature at the heart of the school will provide good passive supervision, informal group learning space and break-out zones.

Externally the building is being 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.     

The Portakabin Group was announced as preferred bidder for six infant and primary school projects in Surrey and Kent.  The contracts for the Department for Education are worth in the region of £28 million and will be completed by winter 2017.

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 school 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 facility to fit almost any building footprint, including those designed for site-based construction - reducing design time and resources
  • Columns that are no longer visible either 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 Portakabin Group is part of the Shepherd Group.

4.     The Priority School Building Programme was established in 2011. 260 schools successfully applied for rebuilding and/or refurbishment work through the first £2.2 billion phase. In May 2014, the Government announced a further £2 billion for the second phase of the programme, from which a further 277 schools will benefit.