School construction schemes completed at rate of one per week, thanks to Pick Everard

Leader in project management and delivery, technical advice and building design Pick Everard has completed a remarkable number of schemes for schools within the boundaries of the M25 in the last four years – the equivalent of one per working week.

The total number of school schemes Pick Everard has worked on in this area during the period currently stands at 176 – a phenomenal amount of projects in just a single part of the country in only a few years.

John Sharp, London-based associate at Pick Everard said:

“The work we have carried out has been for many different boroughs in London and has been across a range of primary, secondary and special educational needs schools.”

“It all started with our work for the London borough of Richmond. We completed a total of 10 primary school expansions for them and created five master plans. Following this work, we were successful in securing four further secondary school expansions in the borough.”

Pick Everard has completed four primary school schemes for Richmond. Further work in London includes three secondary school projects and seven feasibility studies to see if schools could accommodate further expansion in Barnet.

Pick Everard has also carried out project management and quantity surveying at a total of six schools in Enfield. In Hillingdon, the company has completed three projects and provided a technical assurance role.

Full design projects and quantity surveying work has also been delivered at a total of four schools in Croydon. Full design services have been provided for two primary schools in Newham and for a special educational needs school in Bromley.

In Haringey, a total of 63 feasibility studies have been undertaken where existing sites have been examined to see if they were suitable to accommodate further expansion. This work was carried out from Pick Everard’s Bury St. Edmonds office.

A large amount of work is being undertaken by Pick Everard in Hounslow and this work will continue over the next few years. There will be a total of 40 projects which combined will be worth more than £150m. Primary, secondary and special educational needs school expansions will all be completed along with feasibility studies.

Pick Everard director, Allan Cowie, said that the company carries out a lot of work in the education sector and that most of this is due to increases in pupil numbers. He said:

“Pick Everard’s work in the education sector is something which has grown in the last 10 years. We have also been involved in work in further education, but our work for primary and secondary schools has really grown in the last few years.

“More than 30% of our company’s work is now in the education sector. It is a growing area for our business and I definitely envisage it continuing to be an area of strength for us into the future.”

“There are several reasons for the greater pupil numbers. Population levels are generally increasing and due to the recession many people have been staying inside London, rather than moving to different areas outside of the capital, because there are more work opportunities. Also in recessionary times there are fewer pupils going to private schools.”

John said:

“Because of these factors there is greater pressure on local authorities as councils have a duty to provide school places for the growing number of pupils, which has led to far more school expansion projects.”

Among the latest school projects completed by Pick Everard in London is the £2.8m expansion of Hampton Wicks Infants School in Richmond upon Thames.

The project provided additional teaching accommodation to facilitate the expansion from 2FE to 3FE on a highly constrained site.

The scheme was delivered to extremely tight timescales, requiring the design programme to be fast tracked through every stage.

Due to planning constraints, it was extremely challenging to develop a design which minimised disruption for the school during the development works.

The challenging economic environment and pressure from the council to drive down the costs of delivering expansion projects meant that a lean approach was required to design and procurement.

Despite tight budget constraints Pick Everard was able to create high quality and inspiring educational accommodation to benefit teaching and learning.

Among many other projects, Pick Everard has also previously completed a £16m scheme to meet Richmond’s need to accommodate a growing demand for additional school places by expanding primary and secondary schools in the borough.

Pick Everard delivered four secondary school expansions, including significant special educational needs provision. A former hospital was converted into a modern, open plan primary school, temporary options were provided to expand ten existing primary schools and permanent masterplan options were provided for five of the schools.

Pick Everard provided project management, cost management and multi-disciplinary design services.

A full set of feasibility studies containing multiple options were prepared in just a few weeks, including architectural layouts, budget costs and a series of recommendations were summarised in a master document.

Pick Everard was able to provide innovative design solutions and construction techniques to maximise existing space.

For this, as with all its projects, Pick Everard’s principles of working closely with its client and providing the best possible value for money to meet tight budgets were adhered to throughout the process.