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How to build a school - in four days

Four-day response from Portakabin provides classrooms for 480 Edinburgh children

Posted by Stephanie Broad | July 19, 2016 | Bricks & mortar

When the Royal High School of Edinburgh had to be closed for urgent remedial building works, modular building specialist Portakabin responded with 16 classrooms to enable 480 children to resume their studies – in just four days from the initial enquiry.

The local Portakabin Hire Centre team in Edinburgh sourced 16 buildings for high quality classrooms, transported each building to the school, and put in place external power connections to generators, emergency lighting, fire alarms and extinguishers, as well as access to steps and ramps. 

The building solution allowed the school to re-open and most importantly, with all children at Royal High School on their original site. This avoided the need for any disruption to the running of the school and the children’s education. 

Andrew Kerr, Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “It was great to see such collaboration, commitment and focus on the urgency of the project to ensure the school could re-open so quickly. We have received only positive feedback from the school about the quality of the classrooms and could not have asked for a better service.”

Pauline Walker, Head Teacher at the Royal High School, said: “We cannot believe what was achieved in the timescale. The experience has completely changed our perception of interim modular buildings. The quality of the classrooms far exceeded our expectations and the teaching facilities are completely different to the temporary accommodation we had to endure as children. 

“The site team could not have done more to get our school up and running again. Portakabin was on site within half an hour of the initial call and their performance was exceptional. We also have the impression that their team really enjoys a challenge! 

“Being able to have all the children in one location has made a huge difference to the running of the school. This is a really good solution which has delivered robust, comfortable and secure classrooms. We would definitely recommend the approach to other schools in a similar situation.” 

Portakabin has delivered a further project for the City of Edinburgh Council while remediation works and quality checks are completed at Gracemount High School. Eight buildings were installed over a weekend to provide welfare and classroom facilities for 260 children.                       

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