THE extension to St Ninian’s High in East Renfrewshire has been completed by Procast – bang on time for the opening of the new school session.
Staff, pupils and the Procast on-site team marked the handover by posing for photos in some of the classrooms in the beautifully appointed £1.8million building on Tuesday, August, 17, 2021 – just 24 hours before the start of the new term.
The project involved the creation of a single-storey modular building to accommodate six classrooms, a plant room and accessible toilet facilities.
It also involved floor, wall and ceiling finishes, fitted furniture, loose furniture and mechanical, electrical and plumbing services. External works included retaining walls and making good surfacing and drainage works.
A new link corridor was also created to connect the extension to the existing school building.
But in order to complete the programme of works on time and hand over a fully finished article to the local council, Procast had to surmount considerable supply chain difficulties that have become the norm of late in the construction sector.
Company Director Frank McManus said: “This contract was our first design-and-build modular school expansion project and one which brought a great deal of enthusiasm to our business.
“Works commenced on site in December 2020 during the COVID pandemic, with the planned delivery of the shell-only modular units set for mid-February 2020 (provided by our supplier on this project, Portakabin).
“The module delivery date was fixed so careful and methodical planning was put in place and works carried out to ensure the planned installation date of the shells was achieved.
“Once delivered, our sub-contract team commenced the fit-out and cladding works.
“As the school and surrounding facilities remained fully operational during our works, and in order to minimise disruption and ensure health and safety standards were exceeded at all times, our project team had to:
“We carefully planned and managed the programme of works in close conjunction with the school to ensure their needs were met and we reduced disruption to them and the local community.
“We had a great collaborative and transparent working relationship with the Catherine McCrea (Assistant Head teacher) and her staff, Ruth Adams (Education Provision Manager), Michael Duncan (ERC Architect/CA) and James McCubbin (ERC Clerk of Works).
“The new teaching facilities are a fantastic addition to the school and the wider community, and we are pleased it has been welcomed by our client East Renfrewshire Council.
“Aesthetically, we are absolutely delighted with how the project has turned out.
“Considering the huge challenges the industry is facing relating to core material shortages and extended material lead-in times, we are absolutely delighted to hand over the new facilities for the kids returning from the summer break.
“I owe a huge thank you to my project team, commercial team, wider support services team and our trusted subcontractors and suppliers.”
Buyer Jennifer Strain added: “Throughout the project, we faced many challenges in sourcing the material to complete the works – this ranged from having to locate alternative products due to the difficult lead times imposed on our suppliers.
“We had to work around what would be the best outcome without delaying the project.
“But we always managed to find a solution to get the material on site to achieve the best outcome.”
Site Manager Gerry Bonham said: “When I was first appointed to the St Ninian’s project, I couldn’t wait to get started as the works involved were so diverse and interesting; and it didn’t disappoint.
“I am delighted to have been part of it all and oversee the works through to completion.
“The job came with its own challenges but overcoming these and being part of this project as a whole has been very rewarding and will be one I remember throughout my career.”
Throughout the project – which started in November 2020 – Procast have engaged positively with the school staff and pupils, offering some of the students an insight into careers in construction via structured site visits in conjunction with further education bodies.
Procast will remain on site while superficial exterior cladding works are completed.