Both contracts have been awarded by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) through the Constructing West Midlands Framework CWMF.
The first contract will see Morgan Sindall create a new £3m home for Wolverhampton Vocational Training Centre. Established in 2015, and governed by The Central Learning Partnership Trust, it is the only free school in the country which offers vocational training to 16 to 18 year old students with special educational needs, or an education, health and care plan. It has been operating from temporary premises nearby but will relocate to the new purpose-built 150,000 sq ft facility when it is ready at the end of 2017.
Plans will see an existing garage on the site overhauled, with the old roof and internal partitions stripped out and replaced by a portal steel frame and cladded panels.
The one-storey facility will have capacity for 80 pupils, with 12 classrooms designed with specific trades in mind. Vocational training courses which will be delivered include: construction, carpentry, catering, painting and decorating, dog grooming, hair styling and horticulture.
The second contract involves the creation of an £11m campus for the British Sikh School; a free secondary school governed by the Khalsa Academies Trust. The academy opened in 2015 and has been operating from a temporary base at Parkfield High School on Wolverhampton Road East.
Plans for the new school will see the refurbishment of an existing four-storey building to create a 53,000 sq ft school with capacity to eventually accommodate 840 pupils. The school will also have a 3,200 sq ft sports hall, built on a portal steel frame. External sports and recreation facilities will include an all-weather 3G pitch, along with tennis and basketball courts.
Work is already under way, with the Morgan Sindall site team first carrying out extensive remediation work to old mine shafts, part of the former industrial site. Both schools are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
Nick Singh Kandola, chairman of Khalsa Academies Trust, said: “We are delighted that works have now commenced at the permanent site for the school. The brand new facilities will provide a modern hi-tech environment and educational facilities to support the provision of excellent teaching and learning for our pupils and staff. In addition, the very good sports facilities and auditorium will support the provision of high quality enrichment activities.”
Morgan Sindall framework manager Dave Kelly added: “Over the past six years Morgan Sindall has completed 30 projects with a value of around £170m through our work on the CWM framework, and within that, 22 have been schools.
“Providing a learning environment aimed at getting young people with special education needs into work offers genuine social value to the local community. Building the British Sikh School on the same site will allow both organisations to share resources and allow the EFA to realise significant efficiencies. We’re incredibly pleased to have been awarded these latest contracts and to continue our successful tenure on the framework.”
Morgan Sindall is in a consortium arrangement with its sister company Lovell on the multi-contractor CWM framework. The consortium, known as Community Solutions, had its role on Lot 7 of the framework extended in September 2016. Lot 7 covers major capital projects with a value of more than £500,000, and has so far yielded projects to the value of over £71m since its inception.