McAvoy builds school - offsite

McAvoy Group has delivered a new two-form entry primary school built offsite for Ramsgate Arts Primary School.
McAvoy Group has delivered a new two-form entry primary school built offsite for Ramsgate Arts Primary School.

Dungannon-based McAvoy Group has delivered a new two-form entry school built offsite for a primary in England.

The building provides state-of-the-art facilities at Ramsgate Primary School for up to 420 children to support its focus on the arts.

Part of Viking Academy Trust, Ramsgate Arts Primary is a new free school which offers a curriculum with an emphasis on the arts. Built offsite by principal contractor McAvoy, the bright, modern and spacious building was funded by the Education & Skills Funding Agency. It has created an exemplar learning environment for children from reception to age 11.

The 2078m2 building is constructed from 46 steel-framed modules which were manufactured and fitted out offsite at the McAvoy factory in Lisburn to reduce the build programme.

The units were craned into position in two phases complete with doors, windows, partitions and first fix mechanical and electrical services.

Nick Budge, Head Teacher at Ramsgate Arts Primary School, said of the project: “It is remarkable what can be achieved with offsite construction in just a few months.

“This is an impressive school building and the McAvoy team worked hard to meet our needs. Having the library in the heart of the school has worked really well, creating additional areas for small group learning. Offsite construction is a great solution for new school buildings.”

Winston Alaneme, Project Director at the Education & Skills Funding Agency, said, “Offsite construction is helpful where we are working to tight timeframes. It can also be beneficial for projects in more remote locations, such as Ramsgate, where it can be very difficult to source the skilled labour needed for site-based construction.”

The McAvoy Group is an independent, family-owned business and an established principal contractor. It has been providing bespoke offsite solutions and interim modular buildings for nearly 50 years.

McAvoy delivers fast-track projects of the highest quality and in up to half the time for the health, education, commercial and infrastructure sectors.

The scheme in Ramsgate is built on a former industrial site, which required extensive remediation and demolition works, and the relocation of an electricity substation, also carried out by McAvoy.

The new facility reflects the school’s vision for the arts and will be a valuable community resource.

It has a dance studio, general classrooms, main hall, spacious staff room, offices, kitchen, small group rooms for special educational needs, and multi-functional open learning areas.

Externally, the landscaping has created a positive environment for children to learn, play and socialise.

The entrance plaza has a clear sense of arrival and guides visitors to the main entrance. There is a hard-surfaced games area for high-energy free play which connects directly to the ground floor classrooms. In addition, there is also a dedicated, secure play area for reception classes.