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Gloucestershire Business News

Kier to provide new facilities for historic Gloucestershire school

Kier has started work on delivering new, purpose-built teaching facilities accommodation to Katharine Lady Berkeley's School in Wotton-under-Edge.

The school is one of the oldest state schools in the country. Its existing campus-style site will be enhanced by removing a number of older buildings and replacing these with a single three-storey teaching block and a separate activity studio.

The new three-storey block will include various teaching facilities and is designed to support the school's goal of being net zero carbon in operation.

PV panels on the roof, enhanced insulation levels, ground-source and air-source heat pumps will help the school achieve its sustainability goals and reduce operating costs.

In addition to the three-storey block and activity studio, an existing single-storey block on the site will be refurbished, with extensions added to enhance the school's sixth form facilities and to provide a bespoke area for the special educational needs department.

Externally, a new central courtyard will be built, providing additional seating and a performance stage. The parking facilities are being remodelled and an existing multi-use games area (MUGA) is being moved and replaced.

To deliver the works, Kier will use its new design platform kSchool, which creates unique designs for schools, with considerations for how the curriculum will be delivered and how best to make use of the site.

kSchool is the evolution of Kier's design guidelines, which are based both on the firm's experience in delivering over 200 projects for the Department for Education since 2007, and through listening to clients.

Andy Bolas, regional director at Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: "This school was founded over 639 years ago and the buildings we're upgrading were built post-war, so for us providing 21st Century accommodation is a real honour and something that we, as a Gloucestershire-based business, are incredibly proud of.

"Not only does this project further evidence our expertise in delivering state-of-the-art sustainable schools but also demonstrates our innovative kSchool design platform."

The project was procured through the Department for Education (DfE) CF17 Framework and work is expected to finish in Spring 2025.

Hannah Khan, acting headteacher at Katharine Lady Berkeley's School, said: "We are pleased to have been included in the first phase of the DfE School Rebuilding Programme.

"Over the past two years, the teams from DfE, Kier and Mace have worked closely with the school to ensure that the final design stays true to the school's current campus feel, takes account of our stunning geographical location and the school's vision for the future.

"We are excited to explore the new opportunities that this project will bring to our students and the school community. We look forward to working with Kier over the coming years."

KIer would not disclose how much the school contract was worth.

The company is currently working on a number of other major projects in Gloucestershire, including the £107 million The Forum development  in Gloucester city centre and the A417 'Missing Link'  road scheme.

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