Chelmer Valley High School – Dining Hall Extension

Key Facts:

Client Name: Chelmer Valley High School
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
Type of client: Secondary Academy
Services provided by M+C: Building Surveying | Architectural Design | Planning Services | Procurement | Project Management
Value: £315,000
Contractor: Millane Contract Services
M+C Lead: Barry Lawrence

Chelmer Valley High School is a secondary academy based in Chelmsford, Essex. The school is performing well, gaining a grading of “Good” on their most recent Ofsted inspection, and is a popular choice in the local area. There are currently around 1200 students on roll including those enrolled in the thriving sixth form.

The school has expanded over the past few years, due to it’s excellent reputation. However, additional numbers put pressure on the existing cooking and dining facilities. M+C recently completed a project to refurbish and upgrade the kitchen, and have continued to support the school in their program of re-modelling by addressing the dining hall.

The school’s brief was for M+C to design a scheme which would provide seated space for students who bring a packed lunch to school, or who preferred a lighter school meal. Additionally, the new area would be able to provide overflow seating to the main dining hall during peak times. M+C lead, Barry Lawrence, worked closely with the design team to produce a set of drawings for a flat roofed extension, communicating directly with the existing dining area, and providing seating for an additional 75 students. The external finish was a smart and durable cedar cladding, to meet with the school’s aesthetic needs.

The M+C service included the management of the planning process and, once gained, Barry commenced procurement and tendering processes. Having submitted the most competitive bid, Millane Contract Services were appointed as the main contractor for the works. In addition to building the extension, the project required alterations to the existing fire and intruder alarms, additional fire exit signage and connection to the waste water drainage system. Suitably qualified sub-contractors completed these items under the management of the Millane team. Furthermore, pre-commencement surveys indicated the presence of asbestos, which required the appointment of a specialist contractor to remove safely.

Works commenced at the end of the summer term 2017, and continued throughout the summer break. Although the school were not teaching during this time, a number of clubs and activities continue throughout the break. This required strong project management skills to minimise the impact of the works. Similarly, the M+C team needed to overcome a number of challenges such as how to get the large steel beams onto site safely. Existing school buildings surrounded the new dining hall extension, which added a level of complexity when delivering large and unwieldy materials to site.

The M+C team handed over the completed project to a delighted school, ready for the new school year.