VolkerFitzpatrick completes new pre-preparatory buildings at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School

VolkerFitzpatrick has completed a £7 million contract to deliver a high-quality education facility for Haberdashers’ Boys’ Pre-Preparatory School in Elstree, Hertfordshire; one of the largest independent schools in the country. The project has enabled the school to create a lower-school complex on a single site.

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The high-quality educational facility was designed to maximise learning for pupils in reception and years 1 and 2. In addition to the creation of state-of-the-art classrooms, the project involved the construction of a new hall and studio, divided with a folding screen, which provides a large flexible space, and can be configured for assemblies, performances, indoor sports, cafeteria seating and study space. The existing Round House was also re-purposed as a library.

The single storey structure constitutes a mix of steelwork, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and timber and follows Passivhaus principles. An accessible, extensive green roof complements the more traditional appearance of the surrounding buildings and glazed screens provide visual connectivity between the spaces, whilst maximising natural daylight and external views. Circulation areas double as breakout spaces, to encourage collaborative working between the classes.

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Throughout the project, the school remained open and as Elstree Aerodrome is only a short distance away, VolkerFitzpatrick had to be aware of height constraints during construction. The team supported the local community by working with Hertfordshire based suppliers and subcontractors, as well as using local businesses for on-site amenities.

Stuart Deverill, managing director of VolkerFitzpatrick’s Building division, said: “I am delighted that VolkerFitzpatrick has delivered these significant new facilities for Haberdashers’ Boys’ School and I’m proud that we are contributing to the school’s legacy to be enjoyed by pupils in years to come.”

Rob Dunn, Chief Operating Officer at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School, said: “The VolkerFitzpatrick team brings a wealth of experience to this exciting project; their knowledge of the site, great relationships with the wider project team, and flexibility of approach all greatly assisted in delivering this much needed building."

In August, VolkerFitzpatrick also completed the construction of a £17 million teaching hub at the lower-school complex. The standalone maths and economics building spans two storeys and features classroom accommodation and departmental offices, built around a central corridor.

Well-known alumni from the school include broadcaster Mark Kermode, actor Jason Isaacs, humourist David Baddiel, comic actors Sacha Baron Cohen and Matt Lucas, and racing driver Damon Hill.