Leaking the news of a £250,000 repair to school

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A collapsed ceiling and leaky roofs led to a £250,000 investment to keep the elements out of Wingrave Primary School.

Buckinghamshire County Council recently completed a school roofing project that saw all parties working quickly and efficiently to achieve lasting benefits.

Keepmoat was appointed as an approved contractor to install a pitched roof, using the LHC Pitched Roofing (PR2) framework arrangement.

Throughout the works – which included replacing roof tiles while adding new cladding, fascias, drainage, and lightning conductors – disruption was minimised for staff and schoolchildren.

With lots of roof leaks occurring at the school and one of the ceilings eventually collapsing, Keepmoat were required to act quickly to repair the damage, while installing a superior pitched roof that would provide strong and effective protection for years to come.

The roof restructuring project lasted several months. While such works would ideally be undertaken during the school holidays, this was not possible at Wingrave Primary as roof coverings had come to the end of their useful life.

During the works, Keepmoat gave a safety lesson to pupils, followed by an opportunity for youngsters to design posters to display on the site hoardings, for which the six best poster designers received a prize.

The children were kept up-to-date with the progress of the works throughout, and the end of the project was marked by treating them to a sports day including bouncy castles and face-painting.

Mark Hunt, building surveyor at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: “Wingrave Primary was extremely happy with the work, and pupils gained from the learning experience it presented.

“The project could have been an obstructive, intrusive experience for the school, but this procurement route allowed work to begin quickly whilst ensuring that disruption was kept to a minimum for all.

“As a result, the staff and pupils now have a modern, fit-for-purpose school roof that’s aesthetically pleasing and which the children have learnt loads about.

“The level of communication and liaison has been excellent throughout, satisfaction with the project is high and Buckinghamshire County Council, Keepmoat and LHC have now established a good working relationship.

“That strong partnership meant that the works were completed on time and within budget.”

Headteacher Valerie Britnell was delighted how well the building project blended with the curriculum.

“It was such a good experience for the children,” she said. “They interviewed one of the project team for their literacy work, they learned about safety and the risks of straying on to building sites, and they decorated a makeshift corridor provided by the builders with their art work.

“A real benefit for all the children was to understand how a project started and finished, and to appreciate the various stages of change throughout the work. And we celebrated the end of the project on sports day.”

Julian Sanz, community investment manager at Keepmoat, said: “The key to the ongoing success of this works programme is the level of interaction among all parties, to ensure the roof was replaced safely, with minimum disruption and still in-keeping with the deadline.”

Mij Rahman, divisional manager for LHC added: “A key advantage of using LHC frameworks is that the projects can usually commence quickly as LHC has already carried out the necessary checks to ensure local contractors, such as Keepmoat, can start on site quickly and deliver high quality work that will make a big difference. This was essential in this situation as the roofing work could not be delayed for long.”

Any organisation wishing to enquire about the LHC framework arrangements can contact LHC on 01895 274800, mail@lhc.gov.uk or visit www.lhc.gov.uk