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Wokingham Borough Council shortlisted for prestigious architecture award

Wokingham Borough Council shortlisted for prestigious architecture award

13 October 2020
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Wokingham Borough Council is delighted to be shortlisted for ‘Client of the Year’ at the Education Estates Awards 2020 which celebrate excellence and achievement in education.


The ‘Client of the Year’ award recognises the passion, direction and innovation that a school, college, local authority or university has shown in either a new build or refurbishment.


The council was nominated by HLM Architects for its innovative approach to a number of projects across Wokingham borough over the last year.


“As a local authority it’s a real honour to be recognised in this way – we do the ‘bread and butter stuff’ of building schools, leisure centres, and roads, none of which are generally thought of as exciting. But, it is exciting – we are investing £1billion in infrastructure across the borough.


“We are investing nearly £100million in creating primary school places and nursery provisions in the borough, which is largely funded by developer contributions. As a local authority we are committed to building all our projects with the best possible outcome for the school and pupils, whilst also making sure we work towards our objective of being carbon neutral by 2030,” said Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for finance and housing.


The council’s projects include two new primary schools, an expansion of an existing SEND school, a new activity centre and a new post-16 SEND facility.


Expansion of Addington School

The expansion of Addington School was completed over the summer and will officially open later this month. This expansion increases capacity by about 50 students this year, ensuring more young people are able to access the best SEND education possible in Wokingham borough. The new block includes four classrooms, a café and a social/breakout area, alongside two multi-use games areas (MUGAs), a new sensory path and an expanded car park.


Sixty to 70 per cent of the building work was modular, with the work being done offsite to reduce disruption to the school and pupils. Not only does this significantly reduce the length of the construction programme but it also has a number environmental benefits, including reducing the amount of construction waste produced and the number of vehicle trips required, compared with traditional construction. 

Find out more: https://news.wokingham.gov.uk/news/multi-million-pound-expansion-of-addington-school-nears-completion/.


New primary schools in North Wokingham and Arborfield

Two new primary schools are currently under construction in Arborfield and Matthewsgreen, Wokingham. These facilities are funded through developer contributions as part of the four major developments at Arborfield, Shinfield and North and South Wokingham. In total these developments will bring seven new primary schools to the borough.

Matthewsgreen primary school will share a building with a new community centre, providing a new one-form entry primary school of 210 places, a 26 place nursery and a community space. The new Arborfield primary school will provide a two-form entry of up to 420 primary places, a 26 place nursery and a 3G sports pitch for community use. Both buildings are using off-site modular construction and incorporate energy saving features.

Replacement building for the Dinton Activity Centre

The new activity centre at Dinton Pastures Country Park will be the first net zero carbon building in Wokingham borough. The state of the art facility will provide versatile spaces for both recreation and education, and will be a real asset to residents and visitors. The centre will include a number of environmentally friendly technologies, such as increased use of natural ventilation via innovative wind catchers on the roof and generation of power through solar panels and heat pumps. The building is also being built off-site using modular construction to reduce carbon emissions during manufacturing.  

Find out more: https://news.wokingham.gov.uk/wokingham-borough-council-breaks-ground-on-first-net-zero-carbon-building-at-dinton-country-park/

Claire Wakelin, Studio Director at HLM Architects said, “Wokingham Borough Council have consistently shown that they are a client that is motivated to provide the best possible educational settings for their pupils – from new schools and activity centres to enhancing existing SEN facilities – each tailored to the individual end user’s needs and delivered with a collaborative ethos. We were more than happy to nominate the council for this prestigious award, as they are really pushing ahead with modern technologies to provide the most innovative buildings possible for their young people.”


“In Wokingham borough, we value all our children. We know they are our future and it is our responsibility to give them the best start in life by giving them a solid education. And education is not just about the teaching, although of course that is important. But the buildings that children spend their school days in are just as important. We believe in investing in our school buildings and these new facilities are state of the art and something we can be proud of as a borough,” said Cllr UllaKarin Clark, executive member for Children’s Services.


Winners will be announced at the Education Estates Digital Awards Ceremony on Thursday 15 October 2020.


Congratulations and good luck to all those shortlisted!


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