Guildford-based building firm Beard has started construction on a £6.7 million, three-storey cutting-edge teaching complex and brand-new assembly hall at expanding Furze Platt Senior School in Maidenhead.
The two-phased development is being built towards the rear of the school, on the site currently occupied by one Science laboratory and two Philosophy and Religion classrooms. It will provide four new state-of-the-art science laboratories, 13 teaching rooms and a new school hall. Funded by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, the scheme will create 60 new pupil spaces in each year group, increasing the school by two forms of entry by 2025.
Beard will construct a three-storey science and general teaching block where three modular classrooms – now being demolished – are currently situated. The new building will provide four purpose-built science labs and a staff room on the ground floor. On the first floor, the school will benefit from an additional six new classrooms, including a purpose-built IT classroom, and a staff room. The second floor will provide two seminar rooms and a further five new classrooms, including another IT classroom. Phase two of the development will start next May with Beard replacing the school’s old gymnasium and four modular classrooms with a new assembly hall, which will have a permanent performance stage and space for a lighting and sound control room. There will also be a new secure drop-off area for parents.
“We are delighted to be delivering this fantastic new teaching complex which will enable the school to increase its pupil in take,” says Guy Hannell, director of Beard in Guildford. “While we are looking forward to seeing the new building take shape, our top priority is to ensure that lessons are not disrupted by the construction works. We’re therefore working very closely with the school to minimise the impact of the project on students, teaching staff and the local community.”
Beard’s partners for the scheme are architects The Seaman Partnership and Jubb Consulting Engineers. The scheme is due for completion at the end of 2019.
Councillor Natasha Airey, cabinet member for children’s services for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, says: “I am delighted with the progress being made at Furze Platt as part of the council’s £30 million secondary school expansion programme. We are investing in our children’s futures and as the Borough grows over the next few years we want as many families as possible to benefit from our school’s facilities and teaching.”
Mr Edwin Towill, associate headteacher, says: “This exciting project is the latest in a series of developments for the school that include: new drama and dance facilities; new state of the art maths teaching block; upgraded sixth form centre; new 80-station gym; floodlit tennis and netball courts; and a new floodlit astroturf pitch. The new science and teaching block, to be completed in early 2019, will provide first class laboratories, classrooms and breakout areas, and will considerably enhance students’ learning experiences. The new hall, to be constructed later in 2019, will then provide a start of the art performance, assembly and celebration space.”