Midlands contractor G F Tomlinson has commenced works at Barr’s Hill School in Coventry to expand and remodel existing buildings and create a new teaching block for year seven pupils. 

The school, which has some of the strongest academic results in the midlands and was rated ‘Good’ in its most recent Ofsted report, currently offers 655 places for children aged 11-16, plus sixth form students, and has an expansion plan to ensure it provides a total of 900 places in five years’ time.

G F Tomlinson is delivering the £6.5million scheme on behalf of Coventry City Council, which comprises the construction of a new two-storey, seven classroom teaching block known as ‘The Bridge’ for January 2022 – a dedicated space for year seven pupils, which will be designed to help 11 and 12-year-olds benefit from a smooth transition into secondary education.

Expected for completion in September, works will also see the school’s science department extended and refurbished, new classroom spaces created in existing blocks, improved facilities added to the sports changing/multi gym and external play spaces and additional dining space to accommodate the school’s expansion over the coming years.

Procured through Pagabo’s National Framework for Medium Works, this is the second scheme G F Tomlinson has been awarded through Pagabo in the West Midlands region – the first being the £3.7million development of Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Coventry, also for Coventry City Council, which is due for completion this summer.

Andy Sewards, managing director of G F Tomlinson, said: “We are pleased to be working on a second project through Pagabo’s National Framework for Medium Works, and with Coventry City Council once again, to provide Barr’s Hill School with the expansion and improvement works necessary to meet growth plans to offer 245 additional places.

“The school is dedicating space to year seven pupils to help them prepare for and adjust to secondary education and the new teaching block complete with seven classrooms and high-quality facilities will enable them to do just that. Other important extensions and renovations, including works to the ICT suite, science department, dining facilities and gym – will provide new and improved learning and activity spaces for all pupils and staff members, and will accommodate a significant increase in the number of places available to children in the future. We look forward to seeing works progress on site this year.”

Emma Hesbrook, Midlands regional relationship manager at Pagabo, said: “We’re really pleased to see work in motion for Barr’s Hill School to provide all-important additional pupil places for the area and a dedicated space for students to comfortably transition into the secondary education environment. Creating environments that benefit all users – in this case pupils and staff – is central to what we do at Pagabo, so we’re exceptionally happy to be playing a part in delivering excellent facilities for the education of the professionals of tomorrow. 

“We are delighted that we have been able to appoint the right delivery partner for the scheme. Procuring services from G F Tomlinson ensures that the client is in a safe pair of hands, something that is incredibly important given the constraints and complexities of the existing site. 

“This is the second appointment in the West Midlands for G F Tomlinson via our frameworks, with the first also being a school for the same client in Coventry. We look forward to seeing work progress on both of these sites, ultimately adding to the education provision for the City.”

Headteacher Chris Jupp said: “We are delighted and excited to be embarking on this project with GF Tomlinson.  Coventry Local Authority have asked the school to expand slightly our pupil numbers due to our recent successes and popularity with parents, alongside the need for more pupil places locally in the coming years.

“The investment will give our students some fantastic new facilities including a brand-new bespoke building for ‘The Bridge’ – our mini school just for Year 7 pupils which ensures a smooth transition to secondary school.”

G F Tomlinson is delivering the project alongside Seymour Harris Architects, BWB Consulting Ltd and ABA Consulting.