Whitehall Park School – Building Update 1. 26th September 2014
The Education Funding Agency (EFA), on behalf of the Trust and the school, has invited tenders for the design and building works for our school. Final tenders have been received from companies and we have followed a careful procedure of tender evaluation and interviewing supported by the EFA and our technical advisers from Jacobs. This was to ensure that we appoint a strong team to design and build our school. We are pleased to say that we have selected a preferred contractor. This needs to be ratified by the EFA technical team before we can announce their name. We hope to be in a position to announce this next week. We plan to have detailed design meetings over the next 6/7 weeks to develop a plan for the building that can then be submitted for planning permission.
We have already had a number of detailed pre-planning application meetings with LB of Islington to ensure we understand the planning strategy and criteria for the former Ashmount school site. We have been asked, quite rightly, to seek an independent review of the building condition to assess whether it is possible that the building can be refurbished. With the information from this condition survey we have completed an options appraisal. This looks at the options of the various design solutions from a complete refurbishment to a demolition and new build. This information is due to be shared with the Islington planners next week.
Following the appointment of the design and building contractor next week, we expect to be able to provide you with more information on timescales for the design and building process. Whilst everything is of course subject to planning permission, we are still planning on moving into the new building in September 2015 and at present nothing suggests that this won’t happen. As with most projects there are a number of challenges and risks to the design and build programme. However the EFA project team and the design and build contractor will be working with us to overcome obstacles and mitigate the risks with a clear goal of moving into our permanent home in September 2015. Next week is the next step in this process.