Vandyke Upper School

  • Client

    Vandyke Upper School

  • Contractor

  • Value


  • Completion Date

    September 2020

Three storey modular teaching block boasts new science labs and general classrooms relocating 6th form study areas, associated external works and two separate refurbishment areas offering more general teaching space and expands the school’s kitchen and dining area.

The Project Manager, James Wood, went on to win Construction Manager of the Year and showcased the project at the awards ceremony.

The Challenge

A site-specific risk assessment should be in place prior to commencing work accounting for the local environment in which the work is undertaken.  This highlighted the area beneath the cycle shelter is heavily populated with services feeding the school including LV, HV and Gas. Upon completing several trial holes in accordance with the services plan it was discovered the services were laid shallow in the ground with some having less than 500mm cover.

The Solution

As a result of the incoming services feeding a live school, lowering the services was not a feasible option due to an extended shutdown requirement whilst the works were ongoing. Therefore, a propriety protection board was proposed as a solution to protect the services. The cable protection was specified to be 230mm wide concrete tiles with marker tape to be installed above as a standard requirement. In order to install the protection board, the services needed to be fully exposed and the safest and most efficient method of ground clearance was Vacuum Excavation.

The Results

A site-specific risk assessment was in place prior to commencing work accounting for the local environment in which the work is undertaken.

Vacuum excavation avoided using mechanical means to dig near live services as well as significantly reducing the risk of service strike.  It also meant there was no need to disrupt existing services feeding a live school thus the school was able to remain operational throughout the entire process avoiding any disruption.

Working with Eco Modular, the project team utilised off-site manufacturing to minimise disruption, create cost and time efficiencies and enhance the building’s sustainability performance.  This created a high Pre-Manufactured Value (PMV) which meant the design could be strictly coordinated and managed with regular inspections, including stringent quality checks, via weekly factory visits. The project also had a high percentage of PMV MEP installation including containment, first fix, plant room design and structured cabling architecture.

The high percentage of PMV on the building produced a better-quality product with less rework and remaining onsite activities were predictable, plannable and labour loading was simpler.

When Covid struck part-way through, it seemed the project may be in trouble but it was delivered on time and to budget in time for the school’s new academic year..




SME Spend


Added Value


Client Satisfaction

Client Testimonials

We are thrilled at what has been achieved. It will make such a difference to the experience of the students and staff. So to everybody who has worked on the project and made this possible – from me, a heart-felt thank you.  The completion of the project in just 33 weeks was a remarkable achievement and thanks go to James who worked so closely with us and to our partners at Morgan Sindall.”

”Morgan Sindall Construction is passionate about delivering outstanding education facilities for the next generation and we’re pleased to have successfully completed works to expand and remodel Vandyke Upper School – creating a contemporary, future-fit learning environment which will benefit young people living locally and bolster the region’s educational offering.”

Contractor Performance | Commitments



CCS Score 44/45

Any site specific initiatives


Soft landings for handover

Dedicated Morgan Sindall point of contact

On-line portal for notifying any defects with 3 priority categories for response times

Any site specific process/initiatives


100% payment within 30 days terms


A celebratory capsule burying ceremony marked the completion milestone for the students, teachers and project team who worked steadily throughout the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the project was safely delivered on time

18 SMEs

19 beneficiaries

4 jobs created

112 trainee weeks

Schools engagement: 350 students

£600 donations to charity

61 volunteer hours

69% social value created


82% of the building by volume was constructed using offsite manufacturing providing a programme saving of 16 weeks over traditional methods

Water tightness was achieved within 2 weeks of modules being delivered speeding up the construction programme

97% waste diverted from landfill

100% timber responsibly sourced

SCF Framework Manager

James Wright


Phone: 07761 330560

Contractor Framework Manager

Alan Smedley


Phone: 07967 686066