Supporting secondary age pupils with academic and vocational studies
Radcliffe Riverside High School was originally built in the 1970s and joined with Coney Green High School in 2003. A new high school was promised but more than a decade on, the Radcliffe community was left without a secondary school after the last pupils left in 2014. This empty building in Bury has now been brought back to life as one site of the Spring Lane School. This will provide full-time education for pupils aged 11 to 16 whose needs cannot be met in mainstream schools.
The new plans have considerably extended the useful life of the building by completely stripping out and refurbishing the services at the former school and separating the incoming utilities from those of the neighbouring leisure centre. The design also included a 117 square metre single-storey extension for a new entrance, offices, disabled toilet and meeting room. The scheme consists of specialist teaching facilities, a new plant room, better roof insulation and new energy-efficient heating and lighting.
The main challenge was the security measures required for the premises. The pupils are often troubled adolescents and are frequently prone to violent outbursts.
The incoming utility services were upgraded and are now metered independently from the newly refurbished leisure centre which adjoins the school. Physical demarcation was used to keep the two facilities separate and these include security doors and fences, which also allow the students to use the leisure centre at certain times.
Other additional protective measures included heavy grade radiators which were secured to both the floor and the walls. Pipework was designed to be low level and concealed to prevent damage by vandalism and gas safety systems were designed for the science labs.
The LTHW heating and water system is controlled from gas boilers in the new separate and secure, centralised boiler house.
The lighting designed by BSD incorporates additional roof lights and sun tubes to increase natural light levels for an improved sense of well-being.
Spring Lane School at Radcliffe is a purpose built pupil referral unit catering for up to 60 pupils who will be provided with the extra emotional and social support they need. It is also a new central base for the Inclusion Support (Outreach) Team who offer support to those at risk of expulsion from mainstream education.
BSD Manchester is proud to have been part of this project on behalf of Bury Council, which opened in November 2015.