Campus Renovations

Essex High School Completes Four-Year Renovation Project

Brentwood County High School in Brentwood, Essex, United Kingdom, recently completed a four-year project to approve student accessibility and retention, according to a news release. Additions to the school include two new specialist teaching blocks, a renovated sports hall, new landscaping, and a multi-use play area. The school partnered with multidisciplinary consultancy Pick Everard for the project’s design and contractor Bowmer + Kirkland for construction.

The project also involved the restoration of the school’s main building, designed in the 1930s. The new teaching blocks, which take the place of demolished teaching facilities, will contain dedicated spaces for general teaching, science, art, and design technology.

“This was a huge scope of work which ties into key objectives for the educational sector. The school had a clear vision to bring its services in line with modern standards and create something industry-leading to attract and retain students in the area,” said Lizzy Bennett, Pick Everard director. “Given its long-term nature, we knew there had to be minimal interference to the teaching and the student experience. This meant splitting the required accommodation between two individual buildings, while the refurbishment of the sports hall took place early on in the project to ensure exams could continue without disruption.”

The building envelope includes photovoltaic (PV) solutions and a “fabric-first” approach to thermal design. The Bowmer and Kirkland “configure system” is a standardized approach to construction that meets Department for Education requirements and school planning systems’ regulations. Any individual needs are customized into the existing template. Extra high glazing on staircases was “back designed” into Brentwood County High School to meet new standards that evolved during the project.

“Heritage was also a key consideration for the building design, with our teams developing a bespoke and sympathetic heritage colour palette in line with the school’s identity, which was then carried through all facilities across the school, creating cohesion across the campus,” said Bennett. “We’re proud to have helped deliver this remarkable school alongside Bowmer + Kirkland, creating a standard of excellence in design for the region.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].