New term, new facilities for Solihull

RLB appointed to oversee new Solihull School studios, learning support and sixth form

Solihull School has appointed Property and cost consultant Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) for the £1m refurbishment of its landmark grade two listed School House building.

RLB will provide contract administration and cost management services on the three-month project that will deliver a flexible 21st century learning space at the school, which was founded in 1560. 

Solihull School educates boys and girls aged from seven to 18 years at its 50-acre campus in the heart of the town. Work to sensitively refurbish the three-storey building, until now used to accommodate sixth form pupils, began last month.

The new facility will open in September 2015 and will house state-of-the-art teaching rooms, updated art studios, new photography studios, and learning support rooms which will incorporate the latest multimedia technology, and sustainable mechanical and electrical services. 

The ground floor will provide a modern social space where students will be able to spend their free time. 

Ben Dean, senior quantity surveyor at RLB, said: “Modern day eco upgrades within the refurbished listed building will include an energy efficient heating and cooling system, as well as low energy lighting to reduce its impact on the environment and reduce its operating costs. 

“One of the most challenging aspects of this project has been to phase the works to preserve the school’s daily operations and to ensure that the new teaching spaces are ready for use on day one of the autumn term.”  

Richard Bate, Bursar at Solihull School, said: “The investment in our school premises is representative of our strategy and commitment to both now and the future. We are an established centre of excellence and intend to continue to attract the best talent, both students and teachers, and we need the best facilities to compete. 

“Rider Levett Bucknall displayed extensive education experience throughout the UK and detailed benchmark cost data within the education sector. The team was also proactive in its approach and it was evident in its personality that it could work easily alongside others. It was these factors that determined its successful appointment.” 

RLB is also set to complete its role as contract administrator and cost consultant on the new £4.5m state-of-the-art sixth form centre at Solihull School. Opening in September 2015, the stunning four-floor facility combines teaching space with private study and IT facilities as well as social areas and dining facilities. 

The sustainable building will also open in September 2015 and includes an external roof garden, the latest technology for teaching and learning and a multi-purpose event space.  

The new centre, to be known as The Cooper Building, in memory of the Headmaster who led the School during the First World War, sits on land previously occupied by the ‘Old Gymnasium’, which was destroyed by fire in 2011.

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