Ulverston Victoria High School’s £4.1 million transformation is underway

Local MP, John Woodcock, today joined staff and students at Ulverston Victoria High School to celebrate a major contract designed to transform the working spaces at the School for both students and staff alike.

The £4.1m contract has been awarded to Esh Border Construction, part of Esh Group, and involves construction of:

  • an extension to the library to provide dedicated 6th Form study area, offices and a suite of special learning rooms on the ground floor
  • a new main entrance for the 6th Form Common Room (formerly the Art Block)
  • a new glazed link corridor which extends the dining area and provides improved access to the playing fields
  • associated building works and landscaping of the grounds

Denis Fay, Head Teacher at Ulverston Victoria High School said:

“This is a very exciting development for our school – this new building and major refurbishment will have a significant and beneficial impact on our students’ experience. We believe the whole atmosphere of the school will be transformed for staff and students alike who will be able to enjoy and benefit from excellent new spaces which have been designed to provide great places for learning.”

The design work has been carried out by the IBI Group, appointed by Esh Border Construction for both architectural and planning services following the two companies’ successful recent delivery of the £20m redevelopment of Trinity School in Carlisle.

Architect, Ray Liu, who is leading the project explained:

“The overall design of the Sixth Form building complements the existing buildings – with a contemporary approach. We’ve aimed to keep the tradition and feel whilst providing modern flexible teaching space in keeping with the requirements of a changing curriculum.”

“The new building will be constructed adjacent to the existing Library, separated with a glazed circulation hall at both floors. This two-storey entrance space will be light and airy – ideal as a display area for students’ work.”

“Creating and maintaining flexibility and adaptability have been key objectives in the design of the new building in order to ensure that different formats and layouts can be created in the future without need for major structural alterations or disruption to school activity.”

The work is planned to be completed by September 2015, therefore, the construction programme has been carefully integrated with the school’s calendar.

Ian Wishart, Business Development Manager of Esh Border Construction explained:

“We’re delighted to be undertaking this major new build and refurbishment for Ulverston Victoria High School. We have very many years of experience carrying out construction on ‘working’ sites – where ‘business as usual’ must continue – especially in the education sector. Most recently we successfully delivered the £20m redevelopment of Trinity School in Carlisle.”

“Whilst building this project at Ulverston we are looking forward to working with the staff and students and to helping support them to use our construction work as an opportunity for learning and development within the school curriculum. There are so many aspects to construction work that there is potential for learning to be based around every subject and lesson.”

Esh Group, one of the largest construction companies in the North of England, provides support to schools through the ‘Building My Skills’ programme. In the last academic year, together with its partners which are clients, suppliers and other like-minded businesses, the company worked with 50 schools and more than 8,000 students across Cumbria, Yorkshire and the North of England.

‘Building My Skills’ helps students develop employability skills and job market awareness and, through structured sessions which are timetabled by each school into the curriculum, promotes a range of job roles in different sectors, at no cost to schools, clients or local authorities.

Ulverston Victoria High School is taking part in the current Building My Skills programme which, in Cumbria, is being supported by WYG (formally White Young Green), GSK, Siemens, Wax Lyrical, The North-West Evening Mail, the NHS and Esh Border Construction itself.