Davenies is an independent preparatory school in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. The school had an ageing outdoor swimming pool and a 1970s assembly hall that also provided the only indoor sports facilities. The school’s changing facilities were also inadequate. Facing competition from nearby schools with impressive sports facilities, the Governors adopted a comprehensive School Development Plan, which included this exciting project at an early stage.
The £2.1 million project involved the following facilities:
· Conversion, extension and remodelling of the existing hall to form a performing arts centre, including retractable bleacher seating for 260 persons.
· Construction of a new 4 court multi-sports hall.
· Construction of a new building to enclose the existing open air swimming pool. Refurbishment of the pool itself, including conversion to level deck.
· Construction of new changing/shower/WC facilities. This two storey section of the building provides access to the new sports hall, performing arts centre and enclosed swimming pool. It also links to a first floor viewing gallery between the sports hall and the swimming pool.
· New mechanical and electrical services to all parts of the new complex, including replacement of the swimming pool plant.
· Conversion of an existing changing room to form a new Music Block. This consists of 3 music practice rooms and a main teaching classroom.
· The main school buildings were Listed and the new facilities had to be carefully designed to be appropriate within this sensitive context.
Carter Jonas guided Davenies School through the design and construction process. The school operates on a restricted site and much of the work had to be undertaken during term time within a working school environment. Health & safety was a fundamental consideration and this formed a key selection criteria during the design & build contractor selection interviews. Due to the obvious risks involved in this project the Health & Safety Executive undertook a detailed appraisal and the safety planning developed by Carter Jonas and the school at the pre-contract stage received particular praise.
Carter Jonas acted as Employer’s Agent, ensuring that the selected contractor delivered a well-designed, top quality project. A partnering approach was adopted, which encouraged the whole team to work together with the aim of providing facilities that everyone involved would be proud of.
The project was handed over on time and within budget and the school and pupils are delighted with their new facilities.