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An outdoor classroom solution for Heywood Prep School

Simon Fearnehough from the Hideout House Company explains how outdoor classrooms can solve a variety of problems

Posted by Fiona Cowan | August 22, 2017 | Facilities & buildings

Schools are increasingly having to look at ways of accommodating more pupils (or finding more space) either on a temporary or permanent basis. The need for more space can be driven by a variety of mitigating circumstances, some of which are listed below:

- Run out of existing classroom space within the main school building

- Need temporary classrooms due to the fact of major construction work being undertaken so the school might need some temporary extra space

- Need to have an outdoor classroom for outdoor learning programmes

- A pre-school or nursery unit

- Need to have a forest school shelter and outdoor classroom provision

- Requirement for a room outside of the main school which can be used for specialist one to one tuition for children with extra learning and tutoring needs or as a “nurture room”

- Staff room or meeting room

- Parent waiting shelter

Each of the above requirements will dictate of course what sort of classroom building the school will eventually decide upon i.e. the overall size and shape and what is specified internally but it need not necessarily be over-complicated. And of course budget has to be taken into account.

We at the Hideout House Company offer an extensive range of classroom buildings and outdoor classrooms which can cater for all of the aforementioned needs. Our range starts at a 3m octagonal open sided gazebo style outdoor classroom and ends with a 60m2+ fully building regulation compliant classroom building with staff room, WCs, kitchen area, storage and cloakroom entrance.

We have recently completed a job for Heywood Prep School in Wiltshire who are having major construction works undertaken at the school with a new classroom block being built over the next couple of years. They therefore needed a building to temporarily house a class who would be losing their existing classroom due to the construction works.

They initially looked at a temporary mobile classroom solution but realized that it would become quite cost prohibitive due to the limited access at the school where crane hire would be required to lift the classroom into its final position. Aesthetics was also important as the new building was going to be sited near the main school entrance and they needed to have a building which could easily blend in with their existing school building. The building therefore had to “look right” and give a positive impression of the school.

We supplied a 6m x 5m classroom building which is manufactured out of cedar wood with an attractive cedar shingle tile roof. Cedar is used as it is a high quality premium timber which requires very little on-going maintenance and which typically lasts a lot longer than other traditionally used timbers such as pine.

Ease of maintenance of course is very important to schools as they don’t have to continually maintain the timbers and absorb this extra ongoing cost. Hence the reason we are able to offer a 15 year guarantee against timber rot, degradation and decay.

The cost for this building – including drawings for planning, delivery, installation, timber sub-frame base and insulation  - was just below £25K ex VAT. And it was also installed within four days so minimal disruption to the school and their working day. And as it was built in modular sections on site, the access issue was not a problem.

In certain circumstances, we can also help with grant funding and we have also worked extensively with school PTAs to assist them in raising the necessary funds for our products and buildings.

For further information on our classroom buildings, please contact the Hideout House Company on 01865 858982 or email: 

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