Darwin Group begins construction on new academy teaching block

19th May

Modular construction specialist Darwin Group has started work on site to deliver a 10-classroom teaching block for a Manchester school.

The new 896 m sq block at Co-op Academy Belle Vue will be built on the Connell campus, and will be used to temporarily house the first intake of pupils while their main site is developed. Darwin Group will deliver the project over the next five months to complete the build ready to welcome the first 120 pupils into Year 7 in September.

Through the use of modern methods of construction (MMC), Darwin Group will ensure minimal disruption to the college campus and the surrounding local community as large parts of the project will take place in a controlled environment at its factory in Shrewsbury. 

To complete the delivery of the new teaching block within the short time-frame available, the project is being completed through Darwin Group’s Fast Track Programme. Its highly skilled in-house team of designers, architects, town planners and construction professionals will work together to provide with a full turnkey service from start to finish.

Despite lockdown restrictions, Darwin Group delivered a seamless planning service and submitted project planning within just eight weeks of instruction.

The secondary school pupils and teaching staff will eventually relocate across to the larger site on Hyde Road to house up to 1,200 pupils. The new teaching block will then be repurposed for Connell College. Darwin Group’s high-quality modular builds are designed to be easily reconfigured or extended making it the ideal flexible solution for this project and allowing it to be built with both its immediate and future uses in mind.

Charles Pierce, managing director at Darwin Group, said: “We are delighted to deliver a brand-new teaching block for Co-op Academy Belle Vue’s first-ever pupils. Our design team has worked incredibly hard on this unique project to ensure that the new block provides an inclusive learning environment which mirrors rest of the college campus. Our team thrives in creating high-quality and cost-effective learning environments for both the staff and pupils, and through the collaboration of our highly skilled in-house team, the classrooms will be constructed to be suitable for secondary school pupils and then effectively repurposed for the college students.”

Emma Perry, trust project manager at Co-op Academies, said: “From the initial contact made with Darwin Group it has supported us to go from instruction to planning in just eight weeks, which is a real achievement, especially factoring in the additional difficulties presented by the current remote working environment.

“I have found, throughout this process, that all members of the Darwin Group team have adopted a true partnership approach and have communicated and engaged with our team exceptionally well. This has resulted in us feeling confident and supported despite working at a fast pace. Their professionalism and responsiveness cannot be faulted.”

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