Rednock School is situated on the outskirts of Dursley and serves the local communities of Cam and Dursley. Gloucestershire County Council selected the Rednock School as the Single School Pathfinder for Gloucester due to the poor quality of the existing building stock, the significant temporary accommodation, inappropriate teaching accommodation and the fragmented and disparate layout of the buildings on site. The School was spread across two campii, with the more modern buildings constructed at the extremities of the site. The site also carried a series of extreme abnormalities including contamination with high levels of arsenic and landfill gases, historic and mature treed landscape, japanese knotweed, habitat and fauna including badger sets, bats and significant changes of level across the site. There was also a public footpath crossing the centre of the school site. The Single School pathfinder project offered the opportunity for the school to develop their agenda for educational transformation and change, create an innovative approach to teaching its specialist subject of science, extend a growing and dynamic sixth form and vocational education programme, and increase opportunities for extended use and community involvement.
In 2005 the County Council and School commissioned a full assessment of the current building stock and a strategic masterplan for the future development of the school. This Property Plan identified that more than 50% of the building stock was temporary and approximately 15% was worthy of retention. The existing building stock required extensive works to reach current thermal as well as construction standards. The location of the existing buildings on site also led to solution to develop a new build school on the playing fields and the contaminated land thereby avoiding disruption to the students and extensive temporary accommodation. The preferred option also provided the best value for money in terms of construction costs and long-term maintenance. The constraints and opportunities of the site have influenced the design, including the significant mature trees, which are dominant features of the existing site; the varying topography with the changes in level varying by approximately 4.5metres in some directions and the lack of a heart or central identity for the school.
The vision for the building is to create a simple plan from with easy wayfinding.The new building creates an exciting crescent form, following the contours of the site, drawing together the separate elements of retained buildings and creating a heart to the school; a focus and a new image. It provides a new main atrium for pupil movement, vocational accommodation and expanded sixth form areas. It reflects the principles of the BSF exemplar design with social covered areas, vibrant displays and versatile teaching spaces. Its location on the front playing fields minimised disruption to the existing school, providing a discrete, cost-effective site for the contractor, linking the few buildings worth retaining and leaving the remainder for demolition. It also creates a new identity for the school to the community.
The school’s specialist status in science has been recognized in January 2008, by the School receiving Project Faraday status promoting innovative design in science and science education. This incorporates installations and also digital/ict facilities as part of the design and the building form. The building is ICT rich and equipped with a 40Gbps optic fibre backbone and whole site wireless networking that is intelligent, fault tolerant and self-managing, capable of delivering streaming high quality video and multi-media to all locations. Building and security systems are fully integrated, ensuring provision of an environment that is safe and secure for the students. A 360º ‘Incident Room’ provides pupils with exciting technology for virtual learning and interaction. The building, offers full flexibility for the future in terms of the plan shape spaces and the use of the spaces and provides a versatility of teaching spaces which relate to the School’s and Gloucestershire County Councils’s Vision for Transformational Education. The various groupings of the large spaces, dining and also the social areas offer the school and the community excellent facilities for third party use and accessibility for the community. The building has achieved an Excellent Breeam rating and also the carbon reduction grant. The sustainability elements include - 1.A ‘green’ roof. The roof of the main school building is constructed of concrete frame and slab to provide thermal mass, with a sedum roof. 2.Rainwater Harvesting. All of the rainwater is collected and used for grey water treatment, including flushing of WCs. 3.Biomass Boiler. A biomass boiler and heating centre is located on the site. 4.Suds. Sustainable urban drainage system, which controls water flow into the system and provides a habitat enclosure on the perimeter of the site. 5.Wind turbine. A 50-metre wind turbine on the perimeter of the site, primarily for educational purposes, but to provide some additional power resource to the science department. 6.PB’s. There is an extensive array of PB’s located above the main drama and main hall. 7.Sophisticated lighting controls. These are also included within the building to manage operational use of the lighting to the classroom areas to avoid lights being left on 24/7 within the building. 8.Thermal insulation to the building, which well exceeds that required by Building Regulations. This includes the thermal mass of the concrete frame and enhanced wall construction. 9.ETFE roofs. These are located in the central atriums of both wings of the School. ETFE providing an environmentally friendly, thermally beneficial roofing material. 10.Reuse and recycling of arising from existing buildings. The demolition material from the existing school has been used as part of a ‘cut and fill’ for the landscape levels.
The project was successfully delivered on time and within budget. Summary of Time Table; Development of masterplan – October 2005 – February 2006 Planning Approval – January 2007 Tender period and Contractor appointment – September 2007 Construction works – November 2007 – September 2009 Landscape works to be completed April 2010.