St Osmund’s CE Middle School

Dorchester, Dorset

Project Details


Dorset County Council

Project Manager

Dorset County Council


Dorset County Council


Morgan Sindall



Contract Period

49 weeks

Procurement Type

Construction only

Form of Contract

JCT 2011 SFC

Project Brief

A new build two storey, separately annexed, classroom block extension to the existing school to increase capacity from 5 Form Entry (600 pupils) to 6 Form Entry (720 pupils). The new building, located to the eastern side of the existing school, provides four spacious classrooms, a multi-purpose resource teaching space, and a new dining hall and kitchen. The Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) was also replaced as the new building was located on the existing facilities.

“The governors agreed to accommodate the request and contractors Morgan Sindall were appointed… The school is now reaping the rewards of a marvellous new facility.”

Key Challenges

  • The school remained fully operational around the works, an area spanning the sports centre to the tennis courts. The existing facilities which continued to remain in use throughout the school holidays with holiday clubs required the contractors to work closely with the school throughout to minimise the impact on teaching and learning.
  • The main school entrance was also the site entrance, so deliveries were restricted and carefully scheduled to avoid the busy school drop off and pick up times. Each supplier was made fully aware of site rules around parking and delivery times.
  • During the project, the team needed to work around SATS exams, so they ceased work for a morning to accommodate the quiet time required.
  • Part of the existing school needed to be demolished. A temporary stud wall was constructed in the drama studio to create additional classroom space until the new facility was ready.
  • Children were moved from the drama studio into the first section of the new building once it had been handed over. This allowed the old building to be demolished.

Project Takeaways

Our Success

  • A Customer Charter was in place with Dorset County Council, of which each target on it was met.
  • Daily “Safe Start” briefings held on site along with fortnightly VOICE meetings.
  • Weekly site tours and a training day for the school’s site manager with supply chain present on site to ensure he knew how everything works.

Our Learnings

  • Working to a Bill of Quantities and drawings with Contractors Designed Portions, design responsibilities at St Osmunds ultimately sat with Dorset County Council’s architectural team. Morgan Sindall’s Poole office had a great deal of involvement in the original baseline designs, appointed as advisors to DCC on the very first scheme to assist with cost plans and market testing.
  • We assisted DCC to the point that they were best positioned to roll out their new product, and with St Osmund’s School the third of four baseline projects we have built (and the first two-storey design) this has been a very positive journey of learning. Four baseline projects have now been undertaken for Dorset County Council, working under open-book contracts on standardised designs and to a performance specification, allowing us to work closely with the client and adding value throughout each contract. Because the same teams have carried out these projects, both internal Morgan Sindall and supply chain, the process on each project has been very slick.
  • Continuity in staff and supply chain has offered much improved dividends for us and the client.

Value Added

Value engineering was carried out with the following outcomes:

  • The construction of the fins was changed from brickwork to blockwork, negating the need for expensive bricks and speeding up the build process.
  • The capping of the fins was changed from timber and lead to aluminium which is cheaper and quicker to install and reduced the need for high-risk hot-works.
  • Fire escapes were originally to be glass balustrade with suspended ceilings and decoration throughout. This was changed to a simple handrail and limited decoration, saving approx. £75k overall.

KPI’s & Statistics

ContractGateway 3 Contract AgreementGateway 4 Practical CompletionVariation
Time45 weeks43 weeks-2 weeks