Millgate School

Background

Millgate School is a school for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) providing secondary education and limited residential accommodation for boys.

funding has allowed the redevelopment of Millgate School to increase the capacity from 54 students to 78.

  • The existing school occupied a number of buildings on the site which is located within a residential area.
  • The main block is part of an attractive 1930s two storey building, designated to be “of local interest” by planners, with the education provision on the ground floor and the residential on the first floor.
  • A collection of single storey demountable buildings containing education spaces were provided adjoining the main block
  • De Montfort House is a separate imposing Georgian two storey building situated alongside the main block.

Construction Proposal

The Millgate School was a £2.7m BSF Design and Build. The scheme proposal was originally for 7% new build (216m2), however, through stage 1 discussions LMEC managed to increase this to 38% (1,155m2).

The design philosophy therefore centred on providing a new build block containing some of the decanted academic departments, a new sport faculty and remodelling elements of the existing building to accommodate those elements not included in the new build.

Refurbishment and Remodelling:

School consultations defined the scope of the refurbishment as follows:

  • Reception – openness and flexibility of space to be enhanced. This will be achieved by enlarging the existing glazed reception hatch and providing an adjacent glazed screen to allow passive surveillance of the corridor. This will also reduce the ‘queuing bottleneck ‘of students adjacent.
  • New, compliant, covered entrance area comprising steps and ramps to address levels difference between existing finished floor level and existing car park.
  • Convert the existing Dining Room into new Science Laboratory – this will remove the inherent queuing problems in the corridor, associated with the dining room (relocated to New Block)
  • Convert existing Kitchens into Food Technology classrooms.
  • Convert a series of smaller classes, including Food Technology, into interconnecting classrooms by removing the internal corridor and 3 lateral dividing walls. This will provide Maths and ICT accommodation which will be interlinking to provide flexible accommodation. These classrooms can be accessed by new external doors built into enlarged window openings leading off from a new covered walkway.

New Build:

The new build block is located at the southern end of the main block adjacent to the Sports Barn, which was demolished leaving the hard-standing for external play with a will to retain as many existing trees as possible, in particular those given ‘A’ class rating. Its position also allows the existing football pitch to be retained and the new changing rooms will directly discharge onto the pitch.

The new block accommodates the new kitchen, sports hall and fitness room, Humanities, English and LRC, together with providing a flexible ‘heart’ space which serves as the dining area but will also be used for assemblies, a large flexible teaching space and social area. The sports hall is a 3 court hall which can accommodate a 5 a side football pitch.

The form of the building has been carefully designed to respond not only to the restrictions of the site, access and aspect but the stringent requirements of the school for operational purposes. The internal spaces have been designed to be flexible to allow for future change to the curriculum and provision.

The accommodation has been arranged to be accessed off a shared entrance and reception area which will allow separate access and security for out of hours sports hall usage and reduces corridors to a minimum. The new block is linked to the existing by a glazed covered walkway which runs along the length of the existing block from the stairwell exit door near the entrance area at the north end, to the new block at the south. This covered walkway also shelters the new external doors.

The massing, form and materials of the building have been designed to work within the context of the existing buildings and the history of development on the site.

Key design aspects of the work included:
External / General

  • Substantially improved school building public presence and sight lines from the main school entrance
  • Large turning circle for the many buses and taxis that escort the pupils into school on a daily basis
  • Additional car parking provision – alleviating the need to park on the already congested Scott Street
  • Secure cycle shelter for staff and pupils who are able to cycle to the school
  • Additional bonus hard play area provision
  • Full canopy protection for external pupil circulation linking the retained estate to the new build
  • DDA Compliant main entrance ramp
  • Improved secure fencing line at front of building
  • New Football Fencing Protection
  • CCTV throughout scheme in all pupil areas i.e. corridors and classrooms
  • External seated dining area
  • High impact partitions walls used in new build to protect the asset investment
  • New 3 court sports hall and storage room
  • Changing facilities connected to sports pitch
  • Air conditioned fitness room
  • Future proofed – community zoning design
  • CCTV in all pupil areas i.e. corridors and classrooms to provide a safe school throughout the whole of the building and grounds

New Build:

  • New Flexible “heart space” dining hall providing the school’s with a flexible space for all to congregate together and socialise in a respectful manner.
  • One to one rooms designed to help de-escalate extreme student behavioural problems
  • New Learning Resource Centre that offers flexible learning spaces, large enough for SEBD student requirements
  • 2 additional new classrooms replacing the older temporary provision
  • Covered viewing balcony overlooking the sports field
  • New fitted and loose furniture providing adaptable solutions to allow the space to evolve and transform itself as the school wishes
  • New ICT infrastructure and Wi-Fi provided throughout
  • The structure, fixtures and fittings of the building designed with heavy duty usage from SEBD students in mind, for example the use of high impact partitions walling in the new build
  • New 3 court sports hall and storage room
  • Changing facilities connected to sports pitch
  • Air conditioned fitness room
  • Individual toilet cubicles designed to reduce the opportunity for bullying

Retained Estate:

  • 5 large remodelled classrooms occupying previously small, mainly non-teaching areas; with alterations to internal partition walls to create open and flexible spaces.
  • Openness to the new reception are providing passive supervision panels for comfort of students and staff
  • New ICT infrastructure and Wi-Fi provided throughout

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