New nursery is ‘more than just a nice new building’

A new nursery building has been officially opened at King’s Heath Primary Academy by Northampton Saints player Tom Collins.

The event saw the school choir King’s Heath Voice sing Christmas carols as people arrived and Tom cut the ribbon. Tom also took part in a question and answer session with some of the children from the school and guests could view a time lapse of the building on a big screen.

The building will be used primarily as a nursery but will also house before and after school clubs and be used by community mother and baby groups. It was created after the school was approached by Northamptonshire County Council. They said they were looking for more providers to offer the Government-funded 30 hours of free childcare to pre-school children. King’s Heath Primary Academy submitted a bid and it was accepted. The school then put out a tender and modular building specialist The Qube won the contract.

The new nursery cost £520,000 and was funded by a grant and a donation from the David Ross Education Trust (DRET). The project took seven weeks to complete and was constructed using a SIPS system (structural insulated panels). This meant that the walls, floors and roof were fabricated off site and delivered to the school in panels and fixed together on a timber ring beam foundation.

“We are so proud of the end result”

said Jordan Spittle, Business Manager at The Qube. “Building the new nursery in this way meant that much of the work could be done off site and construction time at the school was shorter. This meant that construction progressed quickly. The panels are also better insulated than bricks so keep running costs down.

“We had worked with DRET before so were happy to work with them again and develop the relationship further. We are now in talks about rolling out a standard design across other schools in the trust.”

Working more with the education sector is very much in The Qube’s plans for 2019 as it has just been announced as one of only eight UK companies to be appointed to a Modular Building Framework run by public sector membership body Fusion21. The framework, which is worth more than £400 million, is designed to service the blue light, education, health and leisure sectors, providing members with temporary or permanent modular buildings which are compliant with all building regulations and present lower carbon emissions than traditional builds.

Kim Duff, Principal at King’s Heath Trust, said: “We are over the moon with this new facility. It has exceeded our expectations. Not only will it provide free childcare to the local community, we are hopeful that the children who attend the nursery will go on to attend our school and we will see an increase in pupil numbers. The before and after school clubs will also be a welcome addition to the school.

“The process was so smooth too. Deliveries were kept to before or after school hours and everything was delivered on time and on budget. The team at The Qube also stayed around after the build to help us put furniture together – they even gave the children a tour and let them sit on the diggers!”

The nursery has been designed to cater for 18 children and within just two weeks, 12 of these places have been taken.

“This is so much more than a nice new building,” continues Kim. “This building will enable parents to go out to work, meet with health visitors and so much more. It enables us to break cycles and give children in this community the future they deserve.”

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