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Training centre opens at academy

Teaching facility opens at top performing academy in Cumbria built using Yorkon off-site building solution after just four weeks on site

Posted by Dave Higgitt | July 07, 2014 | Bricks & mortar

The new Centre for Leadership and Learning at The Queen Katherine School in Kendal was required as a training venue and to provide the school with an area to host regular educational meetings and conferences.

The Queen Katherine School is a comprehensive secondary school catering for 11-18 year-olds and was recently granted teaching school status. This enables schools with the top Ofsted rating to work with other partners to deliver high-quality support for teachers and leaders at all stages in their career. It joins only 148 other educational establishments across the country; the Government aims to have 500 by 2015.

The single-storey facility was constructed by Portakabin Group, working in partnership with Capita Property & Infrastructure. The building’s south elevation is linked to the school’s existing administrative block and it accommodates a large conference space for up to 100 people, reception area, office, committee room, and toilets with disabled access.

Full height glazing to the front and rear elevations has created a distinctive exterior for the scheme, which is finished in red and grey to match the school’s colours.

The Yorkon modules were delivered to site around 60 per cent complete, with plumbing, electrics and high performance concrete floor already in place. The building was handed over after just four weeks on site and the use of off-site construction allowed work to be carried out during the school holidays to minimise disruption to teaching.

Queen Katherine School’s executive head teacher, Stephen Wilkinson, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with our new Centre for Leadership and Learning. Site-based construction simply was not an option for us because it could not have been completed in time and it would have impacted on the daily running of the school.

“The glazing looks great and it has really helped to create an exceptional and unique exterior – you would never know that it was manufactured off site. The team delivering the Yorkon solution went the extra mile to ensure the finish of the building matched our precise requirements, resulting in a facility that fits in perfectly with the rest of the campus.”

The flexibility of a Yorkon off-site building solution means that the school can add a second floor to the centre without decanting, which it hopes to do in the near future to meet its changing requirements.

The Queen Katherine School is an Ofsted outstanding school and has over 1,400 students, including 260 in its sixth form. It achieved academy status in 2011 and has since applied to become a Multi-Academy Trust.   

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