Harrington Junior School


The existing Harrington Junior School suffered extensive fire damage, destroying the main 1970’s CLASP school building. Derbyshire County Council required a replacement school to be built to replace the fire damaged building.

Concertus were appointed at RIBA Stage 1 to provide multidisciplinary design services for the new school up to RIBA Stage 3, and secure planning permission for the new school. This included architectural, structural, and landscaping designs, as well as investigatory studies such as ecology, ground investigation, ground penetrating radar, land surveys, and drainage surveys. From RIBA Stage 4 the project progressed as a design and build under the JCT D&B contract. We were appointed by the client as Employer’s Agent, Contract Administrator and Client’s Technical Design Advisor to ensure the project’s smooth progression and accurate implementation of the design and contract.

Key Info

Long Eaton, Derbyshire

New Build, Demolition

Contract Type:
JCT Design and Build

Derbyshire County Council

Ashe Construction

Estimated Construction Value:
£4.5 million (including demolition and temporary works)

Completion Date:
Completion due Summer 2022

Architecture, Client Design Advisor, Contract Administration, Employer’s Agent, Landscape Architecture, Mechanical + Electrical Engineering, Principal Designer, Quantity Surveying + Cost Consultancy, Structural + Civil Engineering

Scope + Delivery

When first appointed to the project, the client’s main priority was to ensure the pupils of Harrington Junior School had school accommodation available in time for the start of the school term in September.

Our team oversaw the successful provision of a temporary two storey modular school building located on the playground. The temporary building was arranged, delivered, and installed within 6 weeks of our appointment to ensure the staff and pupils had appropriate accommodation in time for the start of the school term, as well as for the remainder of the project. We were also made responsible for making the fire damaged school safe by arranging for the area to be fenced off to prevent pupils or members of the public from accessing the damaged buildings. We then carried out full structural assessments to ascertain whether any of the school could be retained.

It was quickly established that the main school building could not be retained. We assisted the client in developing the planning submission to allow for the building to be demolished and a new school to be built in its place. Our team were also responsible for managing the procurement process, on behalf of the client, to procure the contractor for the demolition and construction of the new school. A 20-year-old brick detached building remained on site which had not been damaged by the fire. Therefore, we were required to modernise the building and arrange for it to be fully reserviced as the original connections had been cut off by the fire – this included electric, gas, water, and telecommunications.

A challenge for the design of the new school was that it had to be built on the original school building’s footprint, due to the proximity of an existing mains sewer easement crossing the site. However, the original school was a 1970’s open plan design which was no longer fit for purpose. The brief for the new school was that it needed to be a one-form entry junior school, including 6 classrooms, 3 group rooms, food technology and design technology rooms, a multipurpose hall, a kitchen, canteen, library, and staff accommodation. To ensure the new building met current standards the team made sure the class sizes were compliant with Building Bulletin 103, which they had not been prior to the fire. To further improve the school’s provision and make the new building compliant with modern standards a full sprinkler system was implemented as well as full mechanical and electrical systems. This included radiant panels for heating, a gas fired heating system, a mechanical ventilation system, external lighting systems, and PV panels on the roof.

The client also needed the school’s security and safeguarding to be enhanced as part of the project. This included implementing a full access control system, CCTV and alterations to the site’s secure line. Our work involved putting a two-stage secure line in place, a safeguarding measure that had not been in place prior to the fire, which would ensure better security measures to prevent unauthorised access to the school site. The team also designed some changes to the layout of the site to improve its functionality. For instance, the car park was adapted to provide improved pedestrian path links and improve the school drop-off and pick-up periods. Due to damage caused by the fire engines, retarmacking was carried out across many areas of the site, as well as replacement of trees which had been lost to the fire. During the demolition of the original school building one of the outdoor learning areas was removed due to being partially fire damaged, as well as one other to make room for the temporary school building. The team have worked with the school to ensure replacements for these outdoor spaces could be facilitated.

Throughout the project the team have continued to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure their needs can be met whilst minimising the impact of the works. The main challenge for the project is that Harrington Junior School is located on a campus, meaning there were three live sites including an infant school, the temporary junior school building, and a secondary school. Through extensive stakeholder engagement we were able to devise a plan for how the construction site could function whilst minimising the impact of the works on the operation of the temporary school and the neighbouring schools.


Harrington Junior School is due for completion in Summer 2022 and progressing well.

The team were able to ensure the students had appropriate school accommodation, while the design and build of the new school was underway, by providing a temporary school building in time for the start of the school term. A new building has been designed to adhere to modern standards and guidelines, whilst remaining on the same footprint as the original 1970’s building. This has included various improvements to the facilities and systems in place, as well as enhanced security for the school site. Upon completion in Summer 2022, the new school will provide a modern, functional, and safe learning environment for the pupils and staff of Harrington Junior School.

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