HLM-DESIGNED PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL OPENS IN CORNWALL
Date: 16th April 2012
The £17.2 million new building commissioned by Cornwall Council for Brannel School, a specialist English and Performing Arts school in St Stephen, Cornwall, has opened.
The state-of-the-art school designed by architects HLM provides 6,622 sq m (about 71,000 sq ft) of teaching space for up to 750 pupils, plus a theatre, performing arts spaces and an outdoor amphitheatre. It also features a multi-use games area and all-weather, flood-lit sports pitch.
The scheme is rated BREEAM Excellent and features ground source heating, solar water heating and green roofs. New buildings were needed to replace the existing Brannel School buildings, which had aged beyond economical repair. A small part of the existing facility was retained, however, and refurbished into a sports changing area, a staff work base and fitness centre.
The school has been designed to be flexible enough to accommodate the changes that will occur inevitably during the building's lifetime. For example, ICT infrastructure is integrated throughout the new facilities to enable personalised learning and to take advantage of new classroom technology as it emerges.
Pupils from all years were involved in the design of the school, as were school staff, members of the local community and Cornwall Council staff, following several months of close consultation with HLM. Headteacher Ray Bell said: "What a privilege it is for us all to play a part in designing such wonderful facilities."
Caroline Buckingham, Director of HLM's Plymouth office said: "The new Brannel School will have an immense impact on Cornwall's China Clay area, offering the opportunity for the whole community to access lifelong learning, including adult education facilities. This is a welcoming and exciting place, providing students, staff and local people with a inspirational, healthy, challenging and transformational learning environment. The new design will continue the school's excellent reputation for innovation."
Ray Bell, head teacher at Brannel School, said: "Consultations with pupils, staff and the local community went very well and HLM was superb in the planning process, working in close partnership with us to help realise our vision. We created a very special place of learning."
Construction, which was carried out by Kier West, started on site in early 2010. To avoid disruption the new structure was built on playing fields directly behind the old facilities, with demolition taking place once the new school was ready. This ensured that despite the scale of the rebuild, the school successfully remained open throughout the works.
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