• Client:
    Sunderland City Council
  • Location:
    Columbia, Washington
  • Contract Value:

Columbia Grange SEN Extension, Washington

Two new extensions were constructed to this existing Special Education Needs (SEN) school to provide a new training room extension to the Outreach situated on the North Eastern corner of the school and the second extension to the Autism Outreach Team offices on the South Western corner of the school.

Columbia Grange School was constructed in 2003 and caters for children with learning difficulties and/or autism. The pupils range in age from 2 to 11 years old. The school benefits from assessment facilities in the nursery, various therapy rooms, indoor / outdoor adventure playground, information technology room, music room, library, food technology room, sound and light studio and a parents room. The school has extensive outdoor facilities including a multipurpose play area, pupil’s garden, nature trail and two mini football pitches.

The extension to the North Eastern and South Western corners were constructed on concrete strip and pad foundations with a steel frame and brick and block work, aluminium curtain walling and kalzip roof. The internal fit out of the North Eastern extension consisted of metal partition walls to form a training room, reception area, lobby and disabled toilet facilities. The South Western extension was created to provide Autism Outreach Team offices, kitchen, storage facilities, open plan classroom for staff and pupils. This layout was created through the use of metal partition walls.

The works also included the making good and renewal of all adjacent associated surface finishes, including walls, floors and ceilings where necessary, along with associated modifications to electrical and mechanical services installations.

Successful Outcomes

We liaised closely with the Head teacher to implement an effective Traffic Management Plan in advance of the project commencing. This agreed traffic routes for machinery, delivery routes and delivery times. Weekly meetings with the school head continued throughout the duration of the project. The programme information was discussed well in advance and areas of concern were immediately dealt with. This resulted in a long term successful relationship.

All deliveries were issued with delivery route instructions and restrictions were applied to delivery times. These prevented deliveries before the 9:30am and after 3:00pm to reduce the impact to pupils being dropped off and picked up and to reduce the impacts to congestion on surrounding rooms.

Due to the number of stakeholders in and surrounding the school we issued letters prior to the works commencing and these were followed up monthly. These detailed the projects progress and contained the site teams contact details. Information was also posted on the school notice boards for staff, parents and carers. In addition to the weekly meetings with the head teacher we also liaised daily with the caretaker regarding general logistics and the coordination of school transport and activities.

While constructing the extensions we completed strip out works and reused materials such as brick, blocks, steel and aluminium. We also sent waste to a specialist company who recycled 100% of the waste from the site. All excavated materials also remained on site and the road stone reused.

Considerate Constructors

The project was registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme and achieved a score of 39 out of 50. This is above the national average of 35. We won a Bronze Considerate Constructors Scheme 2016 National Site Award. The site showed the highest levels of consideration towards the Code of Considerate Practice.


This project was procured through the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) which has established frameworks for Building Construction Works, Transportation and Civil Engineering Consultancy Services and Building Construction Consultancy.

Looking to make an enquiry?