The Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) has been recognised in this year’s Partnerships Awards, securing a Silver Award in the Best Education Project category.
The batch, the first in the government’s flagship £4.4bn programme that targets schools in the worst condition across the country, was delivered via the reformed PFI model, Private Finance 2 (PF2). This involved the Education Funding Agency (EFA) entering into a partnership with Interserve Kajima, a Joint Venture between Interserve and Kajima Partnerships, to design and construct seven new build secondary schools as well as provide maintenance and lifecycle services over a 25-year period.
Rock Townsend, along with its partner architects Maber, worked with Interserve-Kajima to establish a standard set of design principles that have enabled cost-effect delivery and alignment with the EFA’s Facilities Output Specification (FOS) whilst incorporating suitable tolerance for buildings to be tailored to the specific context and ethos of each school.
We supported Interserve-Kajima throughout the bidding process, being announced as Preferred Bidder in April 2014 and, following a further 6-month detailed design process through to Financial Close, supported Interserve during the construction phase to successful handover of each school.
More than 8,900 pupils have benefited from the programme, with classes at each school now be taught in new, purpose-built buildings. The Partnerships Awards judges described the project as “deserving recognition as a good example of what could be achieved in mature markets in the delivery of education projects” and “recognised the scheme’s importance in leading the way for the market”.
We are delighted to have been part of this successful partnership and to have helped deliver new learning environments that, whilst acknowledging today’s economic climate, provide uplifting, light-filled spaces for pupils in Hertfordshire, Luton and Reading.