Stepnell hits major milestones on three southern school schemes
AWARD-WINNING construction partner Stepnell has made significant progress with three of its education projects in the southern region – Gordon’s School, Canford School and The Woodroffe School.
The projects, which all include the development of brand-new facilities for students and staff, have recently reached substantial construction milestones and contribute to Stepnell’s ever-growing portfolio of education clients. Located in Woking, Surrey, Gordon’s School’s new sports facility was completed last month (October) following a £6 million, 36-week programme that continued to progress throughout lockdown. The ultra-modern build – designed by NVB Architects – includes a 1,223 square metre sports hall with associated changing rooms and supporting spaces. Stepnell also installed a new, all-weather 3G pitch with the help of S&C Slatter to provide a high-quality playing surface for both football and rugby.
Rob Speirs, regional director at Stepnell, said: “We’re excited that Stepnell is continuing to strengthen its position as a leading contractor in this sector and we are proud of our involvement in these projects that will help to facilitate learning for generations to come.”
Susan Meikle, bursar at Gordon’s School, said: “We are delighted with our new sports hall. Stepnell has had to endure the most difficult circumstances while building it – both weather-wise and because of Covid-19. We are grateful to them for their skill and professionalism.”
Throughout lockdown, Stepnell also remained on site at Canford School in Wimborne, Dorset, which is now gearing up for the next phase of its new, 56-bed boarding house. The £3.9 million development, which also includes a garage and external works such as paving, asphalt, fencing and top soiling, is due to be complete in June 2021.
Rob continued: “Despite this project commencing on the first day of national lockdown back in March, we were able to maintain our build schedule and complete site work through the implementation of stringent health and safety precautions that – we believe – have been central to our recent successes.”
Stepnell has also demonstrated its success in the educational sector with its latest project with The Woodroffe School, won through Dorset Council’s Smaller Capital Works Framework, that is also due to start on site in January 2021. The £2 million development will include a new, two-storey teaching block with classrooms and a group learning space, library resource centre and additional office space to help expand the school’s academic offering.
Landscape work will also be undertaken to include the creation of new footpaths in the surrounding areas, providing full accessible circulation to the ground floor and accompanying lifts for disabled users.
The year-long scheme will pose a number of challenges, including the navigation of a live site and logistical difficulties – with the stand-alone new build cut into a hillside to accommodate for the elevated terrain.
Rob said: “We will continue to remain on site throughout this next stage of lockdown as long as it is safe to do so. We are committed to delivering our projects on-budget and on time, but the well-being of our employees is of paramount importance. We will carry on implementing these health and safety precautions with full vigour while monitoring any changes in the government guidelines to make sure we are adhering to the rules set in place.”