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Mon August 08 2022

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Fire ravaged school re-opened after just 13 weeks

6 Aug 10 A school in Doncaster was able to re-open just 13 weeks after 90 per cent of its buildings were destroyed in a devastating fire.

The Portakabin rapid-response team built an entire 6,000sqm interim school for 800 pupils and staff at Campsmount Technology College, in only 10 weeks.

As an emergency measure, staff and pupils had to be relocated to different locations across the community following the fire.  The speed of the Portakabin hire solution was therefore critical to minimising the impact of the fire on the young people’s education. 

Working weekends and in adverse weather conditions,Portakabin configured 179 steel-framed modules to meet the school’s exact requirements, which were installed to form 21 buildings.  These provided teaching facilities of the highest standards to get the school up and running again, including a dining hall and catering kitchen, 20 general classrooms, science laboratories, art and technology rooms, six ICT suites, sports changing rooms, administration unit, lecture theatre, seminar rooms and toilet blocks.

The new interim school is providing a high quality learning environment until the site can be redeveloped. The buildings are located on a sports field so Portakabin also had to install all necessary drainage, foundations, tarmac, electrical substations, and a temporary car park, as well as access ramps and steps, fire and intruder alarms, air conditioning, data connections and fitting out.

Commenting on the project, Andrew Sprakes, Head Teacher at Campsmount Technology College, said, “We are all stunned and delighted at what has been achieved here – teaching accommodation of the highest standard, delivered in such a short timescale, and in very challenging working conditions.”

“We can’t speak highly enough of the Portakabin team.  They worked at break-neck speed to get our school up and running again. The quality and finish of the buildings, how they’ve been set up and organised, and the size of the classrooms is all excellent.  It has surpassed all our expectations.”

Doncaster Council’s Director of Children’s Services, Chris Pratt, said, “Our officers, together with senior management and governors at the school, have been determined to deliver interim accommodation on site and as quickly as possible.  To have achieved this in such a short time period with Portakabin is a huge achievement and thanks and congratulations go out to all the planning, hard work and commitment demonstrated by everyone involved throughout this process.”

Mike Williams, General Manager of Portakabin Hire Division, said, “We have worked with Doncaster Council on a number of disaster recovery projects.  Modular construction really comes into its own in emergency situations such as this and our hire centre team, the school and the Council have all done a tremendous job to minimise disruption the young people’s education, despite the most difficult site and weather conditions.”  

In emergency situations, such as following a fire or flooding, or last minute changes to pupil intake, schools and local authorities need an assurance that their building needs will be met – on programme, without unforeseen costs and with no compromise on quality.

Portakabinhas successfully delivered 99.6 per cent of buildings on time and on budget in the past four years – significantly raising the bar for the construction industry.

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