Wincanton Primary School

Wincanton, Somerset

Project Details

Somerset County Council

Project Manager
Faithful & Gould

Atkins Ltd

Midas Construction Ltd


Contract Period
43 weeks

Procurement Type
Competitive tender – 2 stage

Form of Contract
NEC3 Option A

Size 1,020m²


Project Summary

The client commissioned Midas to construct a two-storey, eight classroom teaching facility at a primary school in Wincanton to increase the school’s capacity and meet the growing needs of the community. The school’s ethos is to deliver high standards of education within a supportive and stimulating environment. The bright and colourful design of the new building provides a visually striking building with extensive play facilities.

The project team delivered inclusive activities to engage pupils and the community with the project. Events included hosting a time capsule and beam-signing ceremony; having twice monthly site visits from Wincanton Primary and local schools; and hosting students from the local college. The school invited the Midas team to judge their ‘Best Digger’ competition and Midas donated £150 as prize money to the school raffle. The project also won a CCS Silver 2018 National Site Award.

The finished building features educational, administration and associated spaces. Midas’ works included partial demolition of a shelter, fit out of the finished building and all associated utilities connections. The structure is steel frame with block and beam flooring, precast concrete staircases and a lift. Midas created gardens and a play area, completed soft landscaping and provided car parking facilities.

“Children will have had individual Learning Experiences throughout the year that will focus on the build and the construction, as well as having opportunities to make time capsules and be part of momentous ceremonies such as ”Ground Breaking” and ”Bolt Tightening” to mark the end of the project. “

Community Engagement

Career Opportunities

  • Four apprenticeships provided through the project

Key Challenges

The team managed the live educational site through effective collaboration with the school to coordinate the programme of works and schedule external and noisy works around lesson times and exams, timing significant works to occur during school holidays to mitigate disruption. Midas maintained close communication through weekly and ad hoc meetings with the school as required, and detailed restrictions in contractor toolbox talks and during site inductions, with daily monitoring to ensure workers complied with restrictions. The Midas team clearly set out site rules and requirements to all members of the supply chain, confirming site standards and providing recognition and rewards for good performance, and providing copies of the traffic management plan and logistics plan to all operatives. The site scheduled deliveries to avoid busy periods, with no deliveries permitted before 9am and avoiding the end of the school day, and noisy works restricted to the afternoon (3.15pm to 5.00pm) to avoid disturbing lessons.

To incorporate the request for additional works, Midas liaised with the school to agree a revised programme. The team implemented a countdown programme, completed additional hours and carried out quality checks during the works. The Midas team closely monitored contractors during the final stages of the project to ensure workers maintained safety standards during the busiest phase of the works, and maintained careful coordination of subcontractors. The team completed the total project, including additional works, to a high standard of quality and to programme.

To ensure safe installation of the mains electrical substation, Midas completed a ground penetrating radar survey, identifying routes of new and existing services, before compiling a Risk Schedule/ Register. Midas collaborated with SSE (the services supplier who relocated services and removed redundant cables) ensuring the project benefitted from early risk identification. The team encouraged stakeholder input during regular risk meetings, established “no dig” zones along known service routes to reduce risk, used trial pits and hand excavation and completed groundworks under permits to excavate. The team secured Heras panels around the works, with clear signage, and installed protective barriers within public highways during utility connections. At the start of the programme, the site’s power supply ran from generators (with back-up) before connecting into the new mains following installation of the substation. Following this, Midas worked around live services, identifying and removing redundant services in association with SSE.

Project Takeaways

Our Success

  • The school is situated halfway around a one-way system, with a bus stop directly outside and residential premises and commercial businesses in proximity. The school remained live during periods of the project, presenting a significant logistical challenge. Midas created a detailed, bespoke traffic management plan to avoid adversely affecting the neighbours and the local industry, and employed a full-time traffic marshal to supervise site access, ensuring site traffic and parking did not block buses or local access, and managing deliveries. The team installed airlock-type inner Heras gates, to allow delivery vehicles to pull off the public highway into a holding area, performed vehicle safety checks on arrival and departure from site, considered vulnerable road users in the logistics plan, and planned delivery routes to reduce left-hand turns in accordance with Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) initiative requirements.
  • The project manager issued weekly ‘Look Ahead’ newsletters for the school, providing details of works completed in the previous week and works planned for the forthcoming week, including warnings regarding potentially noisy works. These regular communications engaged the pupils and local community in the project and contributed to site safety.

Our Learnings

  • The client’s representative raised a concern regarding the fitting of the rainscreen cladding. To assure them that the cladding had been installed safely and correctly, Midas organised a site inspection with a meeting between the representative and the cladding manufacturer. This inspection confirmed the cladding had been safely and correctly installed.

Value Added

  • Midas delivered over £164k of savings for the client by practical completion Gateway 4, through a combination of best practice and added value solutions including drawing on specialist contractors to provide £125k of savings through design advice and alternative products.
  • The site employed 100% SMEs including seven local firms that formed 36.3% of the workforce on the project.
  • The team held regular site visits for the school pupils, providing updates on the site progress to the children, with weekly ‘Look Ahead’ newsletters and progress photos provided for the school’s website. The site manager organised hand-delivered copies of the monthly newsletter to 50 residences and businesses in the local area, and the site held weekly ‘Through the Fence’ presentations for up to 70 pupils at a time, with Wincanton Primary and other local schools. These presentations included safety awareness and progress updates. Midas made presentations to parents during a school fete; donated £150 as prize money for a school raffle; and judged the school’s ‘Best Digger’ competition

KPI’s & Statistics

ContractGateway 2 Planning Gateway 3 Contract Agreement Variation
Cost£3,229,311£3,250,840£21,529 (0.7%)
Time37 weeks37 weeks0 weeks

KPI Graphs

Apprentices 4
Average AIR 0
Average CCS score 42
Waste diverted from landfi ll 93.7%
Cost/m2 £2,995m²
Cost/m2 excl abnormals £2,342m²
Cost/m2 Industry average £ m²