Schools build programme provides lifeline for contractors

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Hill of Oareford CBE (second from left), is shown around the new building by representatives from Willmott Dixon, Scape, Oakfield Primary School and Wawickshire County Council.

Midlands’ contractor Willmott Dixon, which has offices in Birmingham and Nottingham, has reported a surge of interest in Britain’s first standardised school, currently under construction in Rugby.

Thirteen local authorities have paid a visit to Oakfield Primary School, including five from the West Midlands. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Hill of Oareford CBE, also visited the site in July.

Interest has been prompted by the acute shortage of primary school places across the  region. Continue reading

Under Secretary of State for Schools visits UK’s first standardised school in Rugby

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Hill of Oareford CBE (second from left), is shown around the new building by representatives from Willmott Dixon, Scape, Oakfield Primary School and Wawickshire County Council.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Hill of Oareford CBE, paid a special visit to Oakfield Primary School in Rugby, Warwickshire, to see construction of a school that could revolutionise how schools are built in the future.

Lord Hill, responsible for school funding and capital at the Department for Education, wanted to see first-hand how the standardised system, called Sunesis, can reduce costs and construction time.

Sunesis was launched last year by Willmott Dixon and Scape, a local authority controlled construction procurement company, to help reduce the cost of building new schools and meet the Government’s ‘more for less’ agenda. Continue reading

Work officially begins on UK’s first standardised school

(L-R): Peter Owen, Willmott Dixon, Cllr David Wright, Heather Fielding, head teacher at Oakfield Primary School, and Mark Pawsey MP.

Work has started on a new £2.2m primary school in Rugby, Warwickshire.

The first turf has been dug to officially mark the start of construction of Oakfield Primary School’s new building.

The school is the first to be built in the UK using a new standardised system that uses ‘off-the-shelf’ designs to reduce costs and construction time.

Construction firm Willmott Dixon and Scape, a local authority controlled company, launched the system, called Sunesis, last year.

Warwickhshire County Council is the first local authority to commission Willmott Dixon and Scape to build a new school using Sunesis. The new building will be constructed using the Keynes model from the Sunesis standardised range and will replace the school’s exisiting 1950s buildings, which the school has outgrown due to increased demand for places.

The cost savings delivered by Sunesis – up to a third of the cost of a bespoke design – meant that the school could have an entire new building instead of just adding an extension. Continue reading

First standardised school to be built in Rugby

A primary school in Warwickshire will be the first school in the UK to be built using a new faster and cheaper method of procuring and building new schools.

Warwickshire County Council has become the first local authority to purchase one of Willmott Dixon and Scape’s standardised school designs, which they launched last year under the brand Sunesis.

Continue reading