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Transforming school washrooms

Magdalen College School, Oxford transformed their washrooms with the help of Venesta

Posted by Hannah Vickers | March 18, 2017 | Facilities management

Needing to transform their existing washrooms, the Magdalen College School in Oxford sought a washroom supplier that could give them fresh, modern design, extreme durability and a rock solid guarantee of quality. With this objective in mind, the school worked closely with Gray Baynes + Shew Architects (GBS) to ensure that only a supplier that ticked all these important boxes was chosen.

A bit of history

Founded in 1480 by William Waynflete, Magdalen College School (MCS), based in the heart of Oxford, is a friendly, inclusive and highly distinctive school of 900 pupils, aged 7-18. Waynflete, believing in education as a facilitator of social mobility, wanted to found a school of an entirely new kind, a school that would be at the heart of that new and exciting proposition, the university. MCS is now one of the country’s leading schools.  

Products fit for purpose

As part of the estate’s refurbishment programme in 2015, Gray Baynes + Shew Architects specified Venesta’s Unity flush fronted cubicles in solid grade laminate (SGL) for the redevelopment of the boys’ toilets in the senior school area. Mark Norton, Chartered Construction Manager of Gray Baynes + Shew, said, “We used Venesta’s SGL range as it is a proven, high-quality, durable product from a trusted provider that we have worked with for years.” Venesta’s V-epps pre-plumbed panelling system in SGL was also specified, along with solid surface vanity units and complementary ideal standard vessel basins. 

Safety and privacy

As well as a cubicle system that was simple and striking, with clean, modern lines, the school needed washroom cubicles that offered increased privacy. With a full height option available and a minimal 50mm floor clearance, Unity toilet cubicles provided the answer for this essential requirement. The addition of discreet emergency release mechanism indicator bolts, also gives added peace of mind in an environment where we know safety is paramount.

A speedy installation

Using a pre-plumbed panelling system (V-epps) meant installation was quick and simple. Knowing that this was a school summer holiday job, GBS needed to ensure that any products specified could be installed in the fastest time possible. By using V-epps, installation could be completed in half the time it would have taken if a traditional, timber-framed site fixed system was used. 

Choosing V-epps also meant that all the pre-plumbed sanitary ware was rigorously tested in a factory-controlled environment before being sent to site, another thing that contributed towards a quick and easy installation as it reduced the need for specialist onsite skills. 

Ease of ongoing maintenance

Using a pre-plumbed panelling system in a school is also beneficial when it comes to ongoing maintenance. 

Accessing services behind panels can be an awkward and tricky job, especially in a heavy traffic environment such as a school. With V-epps’ linear-bearing hinge, panels can be positioned at different heights, all without the need to actually remove the panels meaning maintenance of school washroom facilities couldn’t be simpler. 

Unrivalled service package

As with all projects we undertake, it was Venesta’s aim to provide Magdalene College School with a washroom that the staff and students could be exceptionally proud of. 

Not only that, because we understand how important it is for our customers to work with suppliers they can trust, rely on and communicate with easily, we wanted to ensure that we offered an unrivalled service and support package, promising only excellent customer service every step of the way. 

“Venesta’s customer service during the design and procurement was excellent and we look forward to working with them again in the near future,” concluded Mark. 


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