Freemantle C of E Community Academy to Benefit from a Large Extension

Leisure design and build specialist Createability has started work on a large extension at Freemantle C of E Community Academy, home to 450 pupils aged 2 to 11 years old, and located in the heart of Southampton.

Building work started at the end of September 2015 and is due to complete by mid-April 2016. The 460 sq m extension will feature a large double-walled sports hall along with two double classrooms that will be able to accommodate four classes, providing classroom space for a total of 120 children. The original sports hall will become the school’s library.

Ian Cotgrave, Managing Director of Createability states: “Whilst the project was to be traditionally procured with Architects, Project Managers and a Principal Contractor it was decided early on that the best method of delivery was through a Design and Build Contract where Createability would take on the entire delivery process.

“This enabled a more flexible and proactive approach to be adopted and the designs to be amended to accommodate some value engineering whilst maintaining a ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’ nature to the build. Some of the challenges that were overcome included tree preservation and the sympathetic treatment of the local bat community with nesting facilities.”

Kevin Barnett, Centre Director at Freemantle C of E Community Academy comments: “The current school site is single story, which means there are certain sports the children cannot play. The new sports hall, with its taller walls, will enable the students to play ball games and netball and will also provide us with additional space during lunchtime.”

Ian Cotgrave says: “Freemantle C of E Community Academy is a great example of a school assessing the fitness requirements and needs of its pupils and adapting accordingly to ensure adequate facilities are provided. The single height building issue, which impacted the sports the children could play, was easily resolved during the design stage of the project with the provision of the extended height extension.

“This is a challenging build with some interesting technical issues. For example, special bat boxes have been installed in trees away from the building work to provide new, undisturbed homes for bats that were previously nesting in a protected tree line close to the extension.”

With ground work commencing over the excessively wet winter months robust project management of the build and excellent communication is integral to its success and a strong relationship has prevailed between all parties.

Cotgrave continues: “Also, as the building work being undertaken is on the school premises, communication between Createability’s project team and the school has played a pivotal role in ensuring any impact on the children and teachers is kept to a minimum and any issues have been resolved quickly.”

The school originated in 1857 in a disused Laundry Room within the church grounds as a day school for boys. There was a separate school for girls. The site evolved over the years, even being used as a public air raid shelter during the Second World War in the absence of the children, and become co-ed in 1974 when it opened as ‘Freemantle First School’.

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Editor’s notes: Createability is a design and build specialist working in the trust, local authority and education sectors. Over the last 20 years they have delivered more than 500 developments worth over £50 million.
For further information contact: Julie Fisher at Big Fish PR Tel: + 1 949 201 9885 (8 hours behind the UK) Email:

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