Commonweal Sixth Form Centre
The Commonweal School is a secondary school with academy status, located in Swindon, Wiltshire. The school was awarded academy status in August 2011, and has been growing in terms of pupil numbers from which there has been an increasing demand.
The McAvoy Group won the contract to build the new Sixth Form Centre with the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as part of a wider bundle of contracts awarded under the Crown Commercial Service framework which includes a total of 12 schools.
The new Sixth Form Centre can accommodate up to 300 students. The brand new, purpose-built facility will run a range of academic courses, alongside a varied enrichment programme.
The high specification three-storey school facility was installed on site using 38 factory built modules which were pre-built in The McAvoy Group manufacturing facilities in Dungannon and transported, then assembled on the school campus.
The dedicated Sixth Form Centre is adjacent to the main school building which dates back to the Victorian era and is listed, therefore it was unsuitable for extending. The separate modern newly built Sixth Form has an autonomous feel to it without being detached from the wider school community.
- Facility 300 - Place Sixth Form Centre
- Building Size 2400m2
- Location Swindon
- Value £4.5 Million
- Partners Blue Sky Architects
The Offsite Solution
Steel frameworks were delivered and erected at the Swindon site when the school’s pupils were off on half-term, thereby avoiding any impact on the schoolchildren’s learning time. As well as the college building, McAvoy installed a Sports Hall and car park to the modern premises.
Commonweal School also has Performing Arts Academy status so the interior of the new Centre has been finished to a high standard with state-of-the-art fixed furnishings and a sound recording studio with graphics to both walls and doors. The Sports Hall has been appointed to a high degree from the fixtures to the latest sports equipment. Outside, the associated landscaping work has been completed and an 83-space car park created, making this one of the most modern Sixth Form Centres in the country.
The school’s Principal, Keith Defter praised The McAvoy Group’s speed and efficiency in completing the Sixth Form College on time. He also claimed using off-site building techniques in the education sector has huge advantages for busy schools.
The Customer Perspective
“The big attraction for us was how off-site build minimises disruption to learning as most of the construction process takes place somewhere else away from the school premises. We have had other building projects on our site, and the disruption was relentless for up to six months. Because McAvoy transports the building in sections, it gets a long way through the process very quickly.”
The nature of the build has also enabled the school to facilitate tours of the Sixth Form Centre before it was handed over. We have been able to have visitors coming to see the new centre prior to its completion, which we probably wouldn’t have been able to do if it had been built using other methods.”
"The McAvoy Group has made all its deadlines – it’s what they do. The school was involved with the design process from the beginning, and the innovative
building is exactly what was required. Most Sixth Forms work from within the school. Our classrooms are all on the college site. This has all the benefits in terms of community, social and academic expectations. There is a college feel to it.”
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