Classroom makeover for Catholic school in Bedford

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School pupils are enjoying new facilities following a major redevelopment after the Mayor of Bedford pledged to remove all temporary classrooms in the borough.

The £1.3m project at St Thomas More Catholic Teaching School was led by property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood.

It included the design and construction of a new two-storey, 12 classroom, teaching block to replace temporary classrooms, and the project was completed in 24 weeks.

Ryan East, building surveyor at Ingleton Wood, which specialises in the education sector, said: “This was a great scheme to be involved in, creating a space which hundreds of young people will benefit from. We worked closely with the school to ensure delivery of a fit-for-purpose building, on time and within budget.

“We replaced the dilapidated temporary classroom teaching space using modular construction. The building was constructed off-site and consisted of 28 steel framed ‘modular bays’ that were transported by road and installed on site in three days. This required careful coordination of the construction project to minimise impact on the school curriculum and neighbouring properties.”

Simon Willis, sales director at Modular Direct, who carried out the modular construction of the building, said: “This project was a great example of a successful collaborative approach. Through the use of modular construction, we were able to achieve good value for money, quality control as well as cost and programme certainty. We constructed the building at Modular Direct’s factory in Beverley, East Yorkshire before transporting the individual modules down to Bedford.”

The design was prepared by Mark Bunting of Bunting Architects: “The design allowed for generous classroom and circulation space, incorporating a feature staircase with a large circular window above the landing. We are currently collaborating with Ingleton Wood on several school projects and have designed a number of buildings and renovations at the school over the years.”

The work was funded by a grant from Bedford Borough Council following a pledge made by Mayor Dave Hodgson to remove all temporary classrooms throughout the borough.

He said: “The continued removal of temporary classrooms and school maintenance remains one of our key priorities. Bedford Borough Council continues to invest heavily to ensure the creation of high quality classrooms and the creation of thousands of new pupil places across the borough.”