Morgan Sindall Construction’s Essex business has been appointed by Essex County Council (ECC) to remodel and extend the facilities at specialist educational needs (SEN) school, Castledon School.
As a specialist school catering for ages between 5-19, this project will ensure that Essex can meet the growing local demand for this form of educational support. Morgan Sindall is set to provide an extension to a pre-existing building, and an entirely new facility in order to increase the capacity by 82 students to 196 places.
The new 1,660 sq. ft building will contain eight multi-purpose classrooms as well as a sports hall, food tech classroom, science lab, art studio, physio facilities, a library, and office space for teaching staff. In addition, the school’s beloved library bus will be moved across the site, next to a nearby woodland glade.
Morgan Sindall was appointed to the project as a part of the Essex Construction Framework 2 (ECF2). The framework is aimed at improving facilities such as Castledon, in the Essex area, including blue light, government and educational bodies.
The new extension will assist Castledon School as it supports students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), moderate learning difficulties and other special educational needs, through the use of brand-new therapy and calming rooms.
Morgan Sindall are also remodelling the pre-existing car park to incorporate 19 new regular spaces and two minibus spaces. This comes after consultation with the school and the local community in order to maximise spaces and to minimise disruption to the surrounding area.
As a part of its Intelligent Solutions approach, Morgan Sindall will be utilising its in-house CarboniCa carbon assessment tool to monitor and control carbon output as it aims to deliver a net zero in operation development. Also, once complete, 70% of the roofing will have photovoltaic (PV) panels, making the finished development net zero in operation.
In line with Morgan Sindall’s commitment to creating social value in the communities in which it operates, it will look to engage with the local community as the project progresses.
Andrew Harper-Rowe, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction in Essex, said: “As a team, we understand the specialist facilities required and the considerations that should be made when building these educational spaces. It’s becoming more apparent that facilities like Castledon are of great need in the community as we begin to understand the challenges and learning difficulties of young people with ASD.
“The high demand for places at the school goes to show the importance of quality educational support, and we’re thrilled to offer our expertise in ensuring more young people are given an opportunity to thrive.
“We’re pleased to be continuing our successful relationship with Essex County Council, after working on similar projects in the area such as Cedar Hall, Glenwood and Ramsden Hall SEN facilities. The close collaboration between the council, Castledon’s community and ourselves ensures the best possible outcome in providing a modern, sustainable educational environment for its students.”
Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, said: “We are very aware of the need for school places for children and young adults with autism, moderate learning difficulties and other special educational needs, and we are committed to meeting the increasing demand in this area.
“This project will significantly increase capacity at Castledon School, helping meet the needs of the local community. This is one exciting example of how we’re investing in school buildings to ensure children have access to the modern and high-quality learning environments which allow them to thrive, while also playing a part in reducing the carbon emissions that can be caused by the school buildings.
“It’s great news that we have appointed an experienced contractor to complete these works, and I look forward to seeing the progress Morgan Sindall Construction make on the new facilities.”
Simon Holliday, Headteacher at Castledon, said: “We are pleased with this development and much needed investment. The specialist facilities are desperately needed to help further develop a broad and balanced provision. The remodelling will also alleviate pressure on existing facilities. We are grateful to Essex County Council’s education directorate for considering the need at Castledon following conversations which have taken place over the past 3 years.”