VolkerFitzpatrick completes £17 million upgrade to Haberdashers’ Boys’ School

VolkerFitzpatrick has recently completed the construction of a new £17 million teaching hub at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School in Hertfordshire.

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Constructed on an underused part of the existing campus, the two new buildings have provided the school with 46 additional classrooms for core subjects including maths, English, modern languages, theology, philosophy, and economics, as well as a state-of-the art drama studio.

The standalone maths and economics building spans two storeys and features classroom accommodation and departmental offices, built around a central corridor. Each classroom has been fitted with student lockers and a ‘teaching wall’, incorporating an 84-inch screen, whiteboard, and storage space.

The three storey English and modern foreign languages building, also incorporating classroom and office space, as well as a new reception area, is clad in Bath Natural Ashlar stone. The modern drama studio provides seating for 100 people as well as a creative space where students can learn, rehearse, and perform.

Both buildings consist of reinforced concrete frames, supported by CFA piled foundations. The team installed brick cladding to the buildings’ exteriors, along with aluminium windows and zinc clad pitched roofing.

Care has been taken during the design phase, to ensure that the buildings’ interior aesthetic remains consistent with that of the existing school. Corridors and internal doors will predominantly feature oak glazed screens and the corridor ceilings feature oak timber, 50 per cent of which will be removable, allowing access to mechanical systems within the ceiling void.

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Throughout the project, the school remained open, and disruption was kept to a minimum, and a temporary car park was provided, where students could be safely dropped off away from the site.  The project provided social value activity to the value of £20m, primarily delivered by working with Hertfordshire based suppliers and subcontractors, as well as using local businesses for on-site amenities. Various educational establishments visited the site, including Aecom engineering graduates and students from Nottingham Trent University. Presentations were also given to students at the school and a montage of their artwork was displayed on the site hoarding.

Stuart Deverill, managing director of VolkerFitzpatrick’s Building division, said: “It has been a pleasure for the VolkerFitzpatrick team to deliver these significant exciting facilities for Haberdashers’ Boys’ School. These impressive buildings provide a well-designed, stimulating, practical and versatile environment for the students and teachers to enjoy.”

Michael Lewis, director of operations for Haberdashers’ Boys’ School, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to work with VolkerFitzpatrick on this truly historic new addition to the Boys’ School which will provide our students with classrooms far superior than before. The planning, site management and understanding of working in a school environment has been exceptional and the new hub is a testament to them.’

The new new hi-tech buildings will officially open in September.  VolkerFitzpatrick is currently constructing a second project at the school, to deliver a £7 million single storey pre-preparatory education facility. When complete, the entire lower-school complex will be on a single site.

Celebrity 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.