Wolsingham School, County Durham


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£6.7 million
Durham County Council
May 2016
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A collaborative delivery blending old and new

A venerable old grammar school building has been beautifully restored and joined with a purpose-built modern extension to create fantastic learning spaces for the pupils of Wolsingham.

 Wolsingham School
The Robertson team's attitude towards an integrated and collaborative delivery approach and problem-solving throughout the programme has been exemplary, with an absolute commitment to safety, quality and client satisfaction.
Steve Collins
Carillion InspiredSpaces

Steve continues: "The delivery team has worked tirelessly to ensure that wherever possible, aspirational goals above contractual obligations were realised within the context of the project as a whole, resulting in all stakeholders being delighted with the end product and the positive way in which it was delivered."

Scope of works

The scope of works for this project included a new, three-storey extension to the existing two-storey school building at Wolsingham – bringing the school to a combined floor area of 5259m2. The project also included alteration and refurbishment works to the old stone building, together with the demolition of some single-storey outbuildings.

The associated external works centred on the provision of a new electrical substation and new incoming utility supplies, alongside hard and soft landscaping around the new and existing school buildings. Robertson Engineering Services delivered the mechanical and electrical services, which allowed us to provide a holistic 'Robertson solution' to most tasks.

On the upper school site, we constructed a new, two-court external MUGA (multi-use games area) and undertook hard landscaping next to the existing sports centre.

There were numerous variations on the project, as well as significant value engineering expectations, which were all met by the Robertson team to the delight of the client.

Involving students, staff and the local community

To make sure the building users were involved and informed throughout the project, we connected webcams to the school's website, attended parents' evenings, and arranged visits to supply chain members. Our Project Manager, Neil Metcalf, also wrote monthly posts for the school's blog, updating the stakeholders on how the work was progressing.

We conducted mock interview sessions with all the sixth-form students, helped organise a time capsule burial, enjoyed regular site visits from pupils and teachers, and provided work experience for 13 students from Bishop Auckland College, who spent a week decorating a classroom in the refurbished block. Robertson's Content Manager also came down from Stirling to give a presentation on the use of social media in business, to fit in with a particular part of the school's curriculum.

We've been really impressed with how Robertson have gone out of their way to involve the community, and the students in particular, in a number of projects.
Deborah Merrett
Head Teacher at Wolsingham School

Deborah continued: "For example, the students have visited a brickworks to see how the bricks are made, which they'll see in place in the finished building; they've been to a steelworks, and have then followed that through to see how the maths and physics they're learning in their science laboratories are applied to the building they're going to be working in. No doubt this is also adding to the aspirations of many to perhaps follow this as a career path in the future.