Kier has been appointed to deliver a £10.5m schools and community hub project by Flintshire County Council. The project is backed by funding from the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme and has been procured through the Welsh Procurement Alliance.
The project will include two schools on the same site; the remodel and refurbishment of the 3-11 primary school, Queensferry CP School and a new build SEN school, Plas Derwen for 4-16 pupils; it will also include a new community hub building.
Plas Derwen will provide up to 97 places for pupils who experience difficulty accessing mainstream education and require specialist intervention for their behavioural, social and emotional challenges. The two-storey, 1600m² development will include eight classrooms with associated group rooms, nurture rooms and shared resource areas. The existing playground area will be subdivide to allow sets of pupils their own dedicated external space.
The newly remodelled Queensferry CP will provide works for up to 180 full time pupils. It includes the demolition of the remaining old sections of John Summers High School and Community areas, to make way for the schools new hall and kitchen facilities. There will also be internal remodelling works to form a new entrance, with external works including new topsoil and seeded areas and the diversion of a public footpath.
The community hub will be a new build 600m² building comprising of learning rooms changing rooms, for use by the community sports clubs including a local rugby club and a shared space for club activities and for use by community groups.
All aspects of the project will be based on the existing Queensferry Campus in Deeside and are being funded from the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme; a long-term investment for schools and colleges to develop them as hubs for learning and reduce buildings in poor condition.
Plas Derwen will start on site in late 2020 and is due for completion in autumn 2021, the community hub will also be completed in this period with the works to Queensferry CP following. The overall project is due to be completed in late summer 2022.
Peter Commins, managing director at Kier Regional Building North West, said: “We are delighted to be working with Flintshire County Council to deliver this much-needed project for the local community. Through previous projects with the council, we have established strong relationships with the local supply chain, which we’ll be utilising throughout this project.
“Our longstanding relationship with the Council has seen us deliver a number of projects in the region including Hwb Cyfle, an adult day care centre in Queensferry – and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said: “This much needed modernisation of the school and the new build for Plas Derwen will be of a high standard and will provide modern, first class facilities and the best learning opportunities for our children. The Council remains committed to investing in the future of our children and young people. We continue to work to provide a high quality sustainable education for all our learners. I look forward to seeing work for this exciting project start on site.”
Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “This is an exciting announcement and another example of how the Welsh Government’s 21st Schools and Colleges Programme is having a positive impact on education and learning.
“Our national mission is to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap and deliver an education system that is a source of national pride and our 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme plays a key part in this.
“This investment is absolutely crucial if we are to provide our pupils with the learning environments they deserve, while supporting them to achieve their aspirations.”
This win for Kier builds on its credentials in the education sector. It is one of the leading providers of school buildings in the UK and has delivered over £5bn worth of educational facilities in the last decade. Most recently, it has started work on the Harry Watts Academy in Sunderland. The £6.3m school will provide specialist facilities for up to 100 pupils with autism.