Demographic changes in Birmingham have led to a 21 per cent increase in births between 2001 and 2008, and it has been predicted there could be a shortage of up to 3,000 reception places between now and 2020.
To meet this year’s increased intake, Portakabin, working with main contractors Wates Construction, provided around 1,000sqm of primary school teaching accommodation on nine different sites. Each school’s facilities were handed over on time, on budget and to a tight timescale – just 14 weeks from receipt of order, ready for the start of the new academic year.
Commenting on the project, Steve King, Senior Area Team Manager in the Children, Young People, and Families Directorate at Birmingham City Council said, “The additional accommodation for the intake of more than 300 pupils is equivalent to providing a complete new primary school. This was a fast-moving and complex project across nine different sites, that has been handled extremely well by the whole team, including Portakabin, Wates, the schools themselves, and the Council.”
“Portakabin performed very well throughout, delivering all the buildings on programme, on budget and to a tight timeline. The individual schools are very happy with the solution, the finish, and particularly the classroom sizes which at 64sqm, actually exceed some of the existing permanent facilities.”
The Head Teacher of Chad Vale School, Robin Haselgrove said, “We all absolutely love our new Portakabin building. The children really like the spaciousness and don’t have to spend time moving tables to make room for drama lessons. The classroom is light and bright – we would be more than happy to keep it!”
The interim school buildings at eight of the schools, which include both single and double classroom blocks, will be on hire for 12 months until the permanent facilities are expanded at each school. Each classroom arrived on site during the summer holidays complete with infant toilets, flooring, lighting, heating, partitions, power points, sinks for wet play areas, and access ramps or steps.
Portakabin has successfully delivered 15 projects for Birmingham City Council over the last three years – a range of buildings for housing, education and parks departments.