Harrington Junior School


The existing Harrington Junior School had experienced extensive fire damage, leaving most of the school site unusable.

The council required a replacement school to be built to accommodate the pupils and staff. Concertus were appointed at RIBA stage 1 to provide the full design for the new school up until stage 3 when the planning application was submitted.

This included architectural, structural, and landscaping designs, as well as investigatory studies such as ecology, ground investigation, ground radar, land surveys, and drainage surveys. We were then employed by the client to remain on the project as Employers Agent and Technical Design Advisor until completion to ensure the project’s smooth progression and accurate implementation of the design and contract. Concertus also completed the initial mechanical and electrical design up to stage 3.

We then acted as Client Agent on all mechanical and electrical design and installation.

Key Info

Long Eaton, Nottingham

New Build, Demolition

Contract Type:
JCT Design and Build

Derbyshire County Council

Ashe Construction

Estimated Construction Value:
£4 million

Completion Date:
August 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 2020.

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. This temporary accommodation required a planning application, building control application, drainage, power, I.T., furniture, and the appropriate security. 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, and 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. We 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. 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 be a two-form entry junior school, including 6 new classrooms (and 2 retained), 3 group rooms, food technology and design technology rooms, a multipurpose hall, a kitchen (which could provide for other local schools), canteen, library, and staff accommodation. To ensure the new building met current standards the team ensured the class sizes were compliant with building bulletin 103, which they had not been prior to the fire. To further improve the original 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, as well as 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 while minimising the impact of the works. Harrington Junior School were heavily involved in the colour scheme decisions to reflect the branding of the school. The main challenge for the project was 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 secondary school.


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.

The new building was designed to adhere to modern standards and guidelines, while remaining on the same footprint of the original 1970’s building. This included various improvements to the facilities and systems in place, as well as enhanced security for the school site. The new school provides a modern, functional, and safe learning environment for the pupils and staff of Harrington Junior School. Everyone at the school is very happy with the project which was completed on time and to budget.

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