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WITH demand for primary school places already outstripping supply in Hounslow, the first phase of a £150million pound expansion programme has now been completed to help address the issue.

The London Borough of Hounslow penned a deal with multi-disciplinary management and design partnership, Pick Everard in December 2012 to provide project & cost management and design services under the Government Procurement Services Framework, to deliver multiple new primary and SEN school places over the next five years within challenging cost parameters.

Pick Everard has been working on an initial ten primary schools identified by the borough to launch the expansion and improvement programme in the area, ready for the current autumn term.

The initial schools provide unique challenges to the firm as they are located within the flight path for Heathrow Airport and, as a result, require significant soundproofing and ventilation work to take place to ensure a high quality learning environment for pupils.

Allan Cowie, director at Pick Everard said: “This schools programme is hugely significant to the firm and really takes advantage of the wealth of experience we have in delivering projects to the education sector.

“The initial schools are particularly interesting because of their location – we are working really hard with both the London Borough of Hounslow and Heathrow Airport to make sure that the schools are all sufficiently sound-proofed from the aircraft noise throughout the school day.

“It poses us with some challenges, such as how to provide adequate ventilation for the classrooms where it’s not possible to open a window due to the external noise levels – our approach using proven modern construction techniques and energy efficient ventilation strategies ensure the provision of high quality learning environments for children’s education.”

“Pick Everard have focussed on a standardised design strategy, aimed at providing efficiencies in both time and money across the programme.  We have analysed a range of appropriate construction methods against a back drop of very challenging geographic constraints and produced cost effective, innovative and extremely high quality design solutions.”

The first phase of the programme has been completed and work will now begin on a second tranche of schools for delivery by September 2015 at a combined value of around £30 million.  Pick Everard has also completed feasibility studies for schools required for September 2016 and beyond.

“We will be working on a total of 40 projects at a combined cost of more than £150 million, including a range of primary, secondary and SEN schools which will involve a series of expansions and feasibility studies being completed over a five year period,” added Allan.

“More than 30 per cent of our company’s work is now in the education sector and we have a great deal of experience within London particularly – we have completed 176 school projects just within the M25 in the past four years alone.

“The increased demand for school places is not unique to London by any means. It is something that is happening across the whole of the UK. With population levels on the rise, and the recession keeping more people within London to take advantage of the increased number of job opportunities, the pressure on the capital is increasing.

“Local authorities are increasingly coming under pressure  to provide more school places to accommodate a growing number of pupils – giving rise to the need for school expansions and improvements such as those we are involved in for the London Borough of  Hounslow.”

Work has now been completed at: Norwood Green Infant and Nursery School, Norwood Green Junior School, Springwell Infant & Nursery, Sparrow Farm Infant and Nursery School, Sparrow Farm Junior School, Springwell Junior, Feltham Hill Infant & Nursery, Feltham Hill Junior, Grove Park Primary and Crane Park Primary.

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