School heralds a new era

Staff and pupils outside their new school with Kier's regional managing director for maintenance, Simon Bullen
Staff and pupils outside their new school with Kier's regional managing director for maintenance, Simon Bullen

Pupils, parents and teachers in Sheffield are celebrating the successful completion of a project to improve learning facilities for local young people.

The partnership between Kier Sheffield and Sheffield City Council has constructed a school for disabled children, replacing the former Woolley Wood building and moving the new development, pupils and facilities to link to Mansel Primary School.

The former Woolley Wood was a primary community school for children with severe and complex learning difficulties or disabilities and taught 80 pupils aged from two to eleven.

Mansel School was a co-educational primary school providing a happy and secure learning environment and encouraging parental support to 420 children between the ages of four and eleven.

The new school has been designed to accommodate increasing numbers of wheelchair users, as well as to enjoy a mutually supportive relationship between the two schools with pupils from both set to benefit from a range of general and specialist resources made available by the co-location.

The project, situated within the grounds of the Mansel Primary School, involved significant remodelling and refurbishment of the former Mansel building in order to provide an improved environment for staff and children, as well as construction of a state-of-the-art school for local disabled children.

The co-location of Woolley Wood onto the site will see both able-bodied and disabled pupils from across the city in an integrated main-stream primary school with specialised facilities.

The new building has many features specific to the needs of disabled children, including a hydrotherapy pool, interactive sensory room and specially designed bathroom areas all with ceiling hoists to connect them to classrooms.

In a Considerate Constructors Scheme assessment in 2011 the project scored full marks in two categories (Environment and Responsible), with its overall score of 37 points out of a possible 40 meaning the site was officially classed as ‘an exceptionally good site’.

Kier’s regional managing director for maintenance, Simon Bullen, said: “With the new facilities in place for Woolley Wood Primary School and the refurbished Mansel Primary School, both will now be able to work together to ensure every child in Sheffield receives the best possible education.

“Providing high quality facilities to pupils of all abilities is a great privilege and we are proud to have worked on a project that will bring benefits to children for generations to come.

“The success of this project is a true reflection of the partnership’s collaborative working, commitment and investment in the children of Sheffield.”

Kier worked in partnership with Sheffield City Council, which was allocated government funding to develop the new schools.

The overall value of the project managed and delivered by Kier was around £9.8m and was carried out in conjunction with architects Jefferson Sheard.