Sherborne Abbey CE Primary School

Sherborne, Dorset

Project Details


Dorset County Council

Project Manager

Dorset County Council


Dorset County Council


Morgan Sindall



Contract Period

43 weeks

Procurement Type


Form of Contract






Project Brief

Sherborne Abbey CE Primary School is located on the western edge of Sherborne. The existing 1.5 form entry (FE) school was constructed in 1999 but due to an increase in the population of the school aged children in the area, the school needed to expand in size from 1.5FE (315 pupils) to 2FE (420 pupils).

A new single storey extension to the western elevation of the existing school was constructed. The new accommodation comprised of three new class bases, food technology room, two group rooms, toilets and associated ancillary spaces, landscape and drainage works. The existing reception area was also extended and internally re-modelled to provide adequate space.

To enable the construction works to progress whilst the school remained operational, temporary modular accommodation was installed and remained on site for 12 months during the course of the works.

The design of the new extension followed the style and rhythm of the existing traditionally constructed school, being a masonry walling envelope under a pitched tiled roof covering. This retained the established strong sense of identity and consistency. The landscape works included new footpaths to link all new external door entrances to existing paths, hard and soft play areas providing fully accessible circulation routes for disabled users.

Community Engagement

Career Development

  • Four Apprentices provided with training through the project

Key Challenges

The school remained fully operational throughout the works and with shared site access the contractors worked closely with the school throughout to minimise the impact on teaching and learning.

Access to the site was via a bridleway that had to be maintained.  Prior to works commencing, the bridleway was upgraded up to the temporary site access to avoid damage and mud onto the public highway. Works were agreed in advance with the Local Authority.

Elements of the project required localised works within the existing school including classroom refurbishment, a new entrance canopy and reception area, service connections and switchovers. These works were carefully planned prior to commencement on site to be undertaken out of school term and at weekends/out of hours to avoid disruption to the school. Weekly discussions with the school took place on the planned works for the work to avoid impact to the day to day operations of the school.

Project Takeaways

Our Success

Throughout the project we engaged well with the school, coordinating the works around their requirements to ensure that the safety of pupils was the upmost priority. Consistently maintaining our relationships with local residents with our just in time deliveries and avoiding peak times with school drop off and pick up times. Communication and training with the school as part of the handover process was well received and resulted in the staff feeling confident and competent with their new teaching facility. Following on from a project review, the team received a 10/10 recommendation score from the client after handover.

Our Learnings

The project was fully detailed and specified with limited CDP elements to the works. Notably one challenge arose surrounding the subcontract complex cut roof design which was to interlink to the existing building causing significant delay to the project. We worked with the client team and subcontractors to find a solution as quickly and efficiently as possible through collaborative meetings to resolve the complex design coordination that worked for all parties.

Value Added

Early engagement with the supply chain particularly with the roof design solution resulted in an overall saving for the client.

KPI’s & Statistics

ContractGateway 2 Planning Gateway 3 Contract AgreementGateway 4 Contract HandoverVariation
Time38 weeks38 weeks43 weeks+5 weeks