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Downlands Primary School

 New class bases, internal remodelling and new hard play areas at Downlands Primary School.

The project and background

In order to meet the rising demand for primary school places, as part of Dorset's Basic Need Programme, further capacity is required at Downlands Primary School.  The school is located in a residential area within Blandford Army Camp and needed to grow from a 1.5 form entry (FE) primary school into a 2FE school. 

To create sufficient space to allow the school to expand, it was necessary to relocate the Education Resource Centre (ERC) which occupied a building adjacent to the existing buildings.  The ERC has been relocated to premises in Wimborne. Their former building was demolished to make way for the new extension.

The single storey extension has two reception class bases, four key stage 1 class bases, group areas and appropriate toilets. Internal re-organisation of existing spaces will provide a larger staff area, a teaching kitchen plus modernised pupil and staff toilet facilities. Work to external areas include a new games court and the removal of a mobile classroom.

The project started on site in June 2015 and was completed in February 2016.

The design

The extension was located taking into account access, circulation, site level changes, play areas and potential future development. The shape of the extension follows that of the existing key stage 1 and 2 blocks and has low-pitched roofs. Render together with timber and brick elements match the styles of the existing buildings.

The floor levels in the extension follow the existing building levels. This includes level thresholds into each new class base.  Existing site access arrangements remain in place as do existing car park arrangements.

External works and landscape

External work includes the provision of new hard play areas and improvements to existing facilities.

The design team and main constructor

The project to provide an extension and alterations at Downlands Primary School was procured and project managed by Dorset County Council's Dorset Property. The design team and main constructor were as follows: 

  • Client: The Asset Management Group for Cabinet, represented by the Director for Children's Services
  • Project manager: Dorset Property
  • Architect: Dorset Property
  • Cost consultant: Dorset Property
  • Structural engineer: Dorset Property
  • CDM co-ordinator: Dorset Property
  • Clerk of works: Dorset Property
  • Main constructor: ISG Ltd

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