Wernick school building for Godolphin expansion
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School building for Godolphin
Wernick Buildings supply additional teaching space for the expansion of Godolphin school in Slough.
Arina Hester, head teacher of Godolphin Infant School, in Slough explains: 'My senior staff visited a Wernick school building not far from here to see what a modular building looked like'.
'They were surprised because it did not look very much different from any other new, traditionally constructed school building, except that it was very smart and air-conditioned.
The big difference was the teaching space available; that really surprised them; they were immediately suggesting what the extra teaching space would allow us to achieve'.
Arina's accommodation problems started when local parents started to register their children for the 2010-2011 academic year.
The school roll is multi-faith and 97% multi-ethnic with the school age population in its catchment area increasing at a rate above the national average.
Although Arina and the local education authority were well aware of this trend, the figures they had did not reflect the real situation.
They just did not have enough space in their existing school building and time was not on their side.
Fortunately funds were available for 'areas of most need' and Godolphin had a very strong case to obtain the cash that was required, but these building developments do not happen overnight.
However, the project was quickly approved, architect's designs passed and the job completed in six months.
Neath Abbey based Wernick Buildings was appointed to supply the new 13 bay modular building which was delivered over two days, with on-site finishing work taking just eight weeks to complete.
Delivery started in June and the building was completed in August, so Arina's pupils saw the start of the project and came back in the new school year to a completed building.
This would not have been achievable using traditional building techniques.
'One delightful moment', said Arina, 'was when our year one children watched one of the building modules being craned in.
As the unit touched gently into position the children broke into spontaneous applause and all the Wernick site personnel took a bow.
It was a lovely moment.
This was typical of the approach taken by Wernick, we couldn't have asked for a better site manager.
Everything I enquired about received a straight answer; there were no nasty surprises'.
The 'L' shaped, 417 square metre building has two very large classrooms which can be rapidly divided into four rooms by drawing sound-proof screens.
There is also a spacious staff office and large store for each classroom.
The exterior is finished in cedar cladding and an attractive acrylic render.
Toilet facilities are also included for staff, pupils and disabled people.
'Initial staff reaction to the new building can only be described as ecstatic', said Arina.
'One teacher was seen dancing with delight at the size, specification and finish of her new room.
They were all absolutely delighted with the space available.
These new rooms, even with the folding partitions closed, are twice the size of the rooms in the old school and the old classrooms have no cupboard space'.
'Since the new building was completed we have experienced a full fire alert with fire crews in attendance', said Arina.
'The alarm was for the old school building, so we evacuated all 300 children quickly into the four new classrooms.
We were amazed that they all fitted in so comfortably and lessons were continued by the staff in an orderly fashion.
I was absolutely delighted that a potentially dangerous situation was averted and the new accommodation proved to be so flexible'.
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