Rushcliffe School | New Build Performing Arts & Languages Building

Rushcliffe School | New Build Performing Arts & Languages Building

Project details:

Client:  Trent Academies Group

Team:  Total Regen

Type: JCT Design & Build Contract

Location: Rushcliffe, Nottingham

Project value: £3,900,000

Procurement: Competitive Tender

Project Overview

A new build, design and build, 2,200m2 Performing Arts and Languages Building at the Ofsted Outstanding school. The project involves creating 3 new flexible Drama Studios, box office and costume store for the school (and public hire). A steel frame and mix of brickwork and cladding created 10 extra classrooms for the Modern Languages department and 3 music rooms with recording studio and large group practice break out.

The Challenge

Working on a live and constrained school site has many complex challenges including:

  • Controlled delivery times with noise generating activities planned within certain time slots outside of school hours.
  • Restricted access through a one way road system to the school carpark, where the site is located. This needed to be kept accessible for buses, cars and the school to access the gymnasium facilities behind the site.
  • Connection of the gas and water mains required digging up the one way road system, this was planned and delivered during half term.
  • Safeguarding, DBS checks on the management team and contractors are conducted, the movement of contractors is controlled through the Site Manager and a secure site boundary.

Value Engineering

The scheme was in the region of 10% over budget.
We engaged with the Architects Church Lukas to understand the design philosophy and developed a solution that did not require planning approval to meet programme requirements. It was important to maintain the overall design ethos and acoustic performance of the building.
We redesigned the ventilation ducting to a smaller solution which allowed us to reduce the size of the ceiling service voids. This in turn reduced the height of the building and enabled us to reduce the cost of the piling on the complex sloping site.
We also engineered the drainage solution, changing from an underground pumping station to a gravity fed system which saved in the region of £40,000.

A Close and Collaborative Relationship


  • At the start of the project the Site Manager conducted an assembly every morning for a week to the school population discussing the project and in particular, health and safety.
  • To drive the project forward out of hours and weekend working has been in place to push the project on.
  • The site team have worked closely with the Rushcliffe School management team and caretakers to coordinate work and ensure that works that could impact the school were carried out outside of term time. This included the installation of the attenuation tank for the drainage and gas/water main works within the access road.
  • The Caretaker was involved early for advice on future maintenance considerations.
  • Robert Woodhead found and employed the site manager who successfully built the previous phase for the school, which was a sixth form block. The client had been very happy with this site manager. Advertised a job opportunity for a site labourer.

Key Achievements

  1. Apprentice Project Manager employed
  2. Engaged and helped give careers in construction advice to A Level student at the Rushcliffe School
  3. Facilitated a publicity generating musical concert on site.
  4. Church Lukas, the appointed Architects, will attend an open day on site with their trainees and assistants.
  5. Work experience placement provided to shadow Site Manager.
  6. Local Spend within 40 miles = 92.35
  7. Local Labour within 40 miles = 82.61%


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