WORK is now under way for the £3.7million expansion of Coventry’s Cardinal Newman Catholic School.
Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson is undertaking the expansion which involves the construction of a new dining hall and the refurbishment of existing buildings for optimised teaching spaces.
The move will also allow an additional 200 places at the school, in line with a Government drive to provide extra student spaces in Coventry.
The building work is expected to be completed in the summer and the scheme also involves the recently completed refurbishment of the DaVinci Building – including science rooms fitted with new laboratory furniture, a technology room, storage rooms and the relocation of the IT technician’s office to an adjacent space.
The main scope of works, which is the construction of a new 400-student capacity dining hall, includes a new, fully-fitted catering kitchen and toilet facilities, as well as a mezzanine upper floor to be used by the school’s sixth-form students. That will be accessed via an internal floating staircase or accessible lift.
The new dining hall will overlook the existing playing field and will also feature an outdoor dining area with external terrace and elevated tiered seating built into an existing grass bank.
Internally, there will be high-finish feature concrete columns and the ceiling will be fitted with domed roof lighting to allow natural light into the building.
The current dining halls, located in the Lindisfarne and Canterbury blocks, will be refurbished and transformed into three new teaching blocks and a seminar room, with a new accessible entrance formed to access the existing Teaching and Learning Centre at the back.
Andy Sewards, managing director of G F Tomlinson, said: “This is a very high-quality design and build, and once complete it will bring upgraded facilities to the school, allowing optimised teaching spaces and the space for a considerable increase of student places. We look forward to handing over the project ahead of the new school year in 2021.”
Emma Hesbrook, regional relationship manager at Pagabo, added: “It’s fantastic to see work progressing well for G F Tomlinson on what is their first appointment through our Medium Works Framework.
“Despite the obvious challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, G F Tomlinson has continued to operate in a safe and secure manner, ensuring the school’s extension is ready for its summer 2021 opening.”
Coun Kevin Maton, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “I’m delighted work on this excellent project is progressing well and I’m sure the pupils and staff are looking forward to its completion.
“It demonstrates that the huge capital expansion project across Coventry for schools is very much still under way.
“Working alongside the restrictions for Covid-19, we are collaboratively working with schools to ensure progress is maintained.”
G F Tomlinson is delivering the project alongside SHA Architects, ABA Consulting as civil and structural engineers and Bennett Williams, as building services consultants.