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Newman School

On dry land

Portakabin emergency response team provides new school for 650 children following Cumbria floods

Posted by Stephanie Broad | May 23, 2016 | Bricks & mortar

Modular building specialst Portakabin has provided 650 children with a 2,100sqm interim school after Newman Catholic School in Carlisle was devastated by floods. 

The flood waters were seven feet deep in parts of the school, causing irreparable damage. Portakabin also provided interim classrooms for Newman School back in 2005 when the River Eden burst its banks and its buildings were first severely damaged by flooding.

Following the more recent floods, there was an immediate need for emergency teaching accommodation to allow the school to re-open in time for the start of the new spring term. Twelve single modular buildings were provided by Portakabin during the Christmas break. These classrooms were located on the site of a former primary school and supplied with furniture, data communications and alarm systems as a first response to get the school up and running again. 

The buildings were later replaced with 24 general classrooms and highly fitted out specialist rooms including for ICT, design and technology, food technology and science, delivered in just 12 weeks. The interim school, which is designed and built to permanent standards, will be in use until a long-term solution is developed. 

The project had many challenges. The new school had to be sited on a water-logged playing field which required gas, electric and water services bringing in. The site was located in a constrained residential area so an access road had to be constructed for delivery of the buildings – and the site team had to work through very poor weather conditions.

Commenting on the project, John McAuley, Head Teacher at Newman Catholic School, said: “Our priority was to ensure that our students could be taught in accommodation that was at least equivalent to what they had before. The reality is that the facilities provided by Portakabin are in many ways superior to our original classrooms. 

“The classrooms are bright, warm, airy and welcoming. Despite the terrible floods, our school now has considerably improved facilities. We have had a fantastic experience with such a responsive team of building professionals who have been there for us every step of the way.”

www.portakabin.co.uk

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