Holmes has submitted plans for a new flagship school in Erskine, Scotland. Park Mains High School for Renfrewshire Council will not only provide secondary education for the pupils of Erskine and the surrounding villages of Bishopton, Inchinnan and Langbank, but it’s innovative facilities will also be available, and integral, to the wider community.
The new £33 million school, which is due to start on site in January 2011, will accommodate 1400 pupils and 136 staff, and features teaching spaces arranged across 3 levels, as well as a range of enhanced PE facilities, including a four court Games Hall, Gymnasium, Dance Studio, and Fitness Suite with associated changing areas. A multi-use Assembly Hall with main stage and tiered stadium style seating has also been designed to accommodate local community activities including drama and theatre groups.
One of the most dramatic aspects of the school – informed by the Curriculum for Excellence in school design – is a central atrium, flooded with natural light from rooflights and glazing that overlooks the external courtyard area. This large-scale open-plan space will feature a dual purpose dining and social area with direct access to external seating areas and playground terraces.
Plans also include a series of ‘break-out’ spaces outside classrooms that will help to facilitate different kinds of learning environments. Greater flexibility within classrooms spaces has also been created to enable teachers to deliver different types of learning, thereby allowing an emphasis on topic rather than subject based learning.
The main building is defined via a strong brickwork grid, an arrangement that is continued internally with the use of timber. The two storey management and administration building – which slots into the three storey teaching accommodation and central social space – has been clad in Terne coated stainless steel. High quality paving materials to the entrance concourse also create a civic approach to building. The sustainable building aims to achieve a ‘Very Good’ rating under the BREEAM environmental certification scheme.
The project, which is due to be completed in Summer 2012, has been procured under a NEC3 Traditional Contract with BAM Construction selected to undertake the construction works following their appointment via the Renfrewshire Council Framework Agreement, Building Better Communities.
Craig Heap, Project Architect for Park Mains High School commented: “This flagship project reinforces the idea of the school building as an important resource, not only for the pupils and staff but for the wider community as a whole. We’re hopeful that it’s a resource that will be cherished for years to come.
The community, staff and pupils will experience a great deal of variety and delight as they move around the school. In fact it will be a pleasure to work, eat, learn, play, teach and socialise in this new building.”