Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson has been selected by the Department for Education (DfE) to design and build the new Bramcote Building, a specialist teaching block for The Polesworth School in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

The school is a mixed gender secondary school with pupils aged 11-18, and it is part of the Communities Academies Trust – a multi-academy trust comprising 17 schools in the West Midlands region.

The Bramcote Building replaces five existing teaching blocks which are nearing the end of their usable life and will be demolished by G F Tomlinson following completion of the new building.

Construction on the new three-storey 2,479m2 teaching block started back in June, and the steel frame and roof are now complete, with works progressing on the external envelope and internal partitions.

Once finished, the building will cater for Design and Technology teaching spaces, ICT teaching rooms, science laboratories and staff spaces, allowing the school to continue delivering the curriculum in a safe and quality environment.

The project also includes the resurfacing of an existing 2,135m2 multi-use games area (MUGA) with new fencing and lighting, marked out in accordance with Sport England specifications for five-a-side football, basketball and netball.

Expected for completion in autumn 2021, the works are being undertaken within a live school site and have been carefully planned to minimise disruption to ensure the school is able to maintain continuity of the curriculum and extra-curricular delivery for students. The project team is ensuring that all COVID-19 working guidelines are adhered to, to ensure safe working and social distancing on site.

In addition to the operational school, the site is located in a built-up residential area, bounded by Birchwood Primary School, the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association and Polesworth Sports Centre, and close liaison with all neighbours has been paramount to agree shared access routes through to the construction site, to minimise the impact on the surrounding area and maintain access at all times.

In line with G F Tomlinson’s commitment to social value, the project will maximise opportunities for training and skills for local young people, and five apprentices have already benefitted from being engaged during the design and pre-construction stage.

This will be the first project that G F Tomlinson has completed for The Polesworth School and Community Academies Trust, and the 12th project for the DfE framework.

Chris Flint, director of G F Tomlinson, said: “We are delighted to have commenced works at The Polesworth School to deliver much needed modernised teaching spaces which will enable the school to continue providing an excellent standard of education. This project is part of the DfE framework’s schools investment programme which aims to address urgent requirements for the replacement of buildings to provide improvements to the quality of teaching and learning environments.

“The buildings being demolished and replaced were nearing the end of their usable life and the planned works will allow for the school to continue teaching in certain buildings, whilst we construct the new facilities ensuring there is no disruption to the day-to-day curriculum. The works will provide high quality, optimised teaching and learning spaces for staff and students, improving the overall educational experience of children at the school.

“It has been an honour to engage with DfE again for another project, taking our total projects for the framework to 12 in six years.”

G F Tomlinson is working alongside Bond Bryan (architect), BSP Consulting (engineer) and Anderson Green (M & E services) to deliver this project.

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