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Portakabin Group calls on local authorities to embrace off-site school’s construction

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June 9 2015

Portakabin Group calls on local authorities to embrace off-site school’s construction
The Portakabin Group is marking the first decade in operation of the UK’s first school to be fully built off-site, Our Lady of Lourdes in East Kilbride, which opened its doors back in 2004.

Describing the school, funded via an operating lease, as ‘robust’ the group is seeking to encourage other local authorities to follow in its footsteps by citing the positive reaction of councilors and teachers.

Frank McCafferty, property manager at South Lanarkshire Council, said, “We are very pleased with the appearance and performance of the building after more than a decade and it looks better than we could have anticipated. Off-site construction was an ideal solution for this project to replace a series of 1960s storm-damaged buildings in a radically reduced timescale.”

Head teacher Paul McGarry said: “I was here when the building was delivered 11 years ago and we are still extremely proud of these facilities. It is spacious and light with wide corridors and suits our current requirements really well – but will allow us the flexibility to reconfigure should the need arise. The teachers and pupils absolutely love the building and it looks fantastic more than a decade on from when we moved in.”

Built over eight months at the Portakabin Group’s York manufacturing centre the individual modules measuring up to 14m long and weighing up to 8.5 tonnes, were craned into place.

The school accommodates 500 pupils and has a 60-year design life.
Staff are delighted that their facilities have stood the test of time
Staff are delighted that their facilities have stood the test of time
The school was ready for occupation after just eight months on-site
The school was ready for occupation after just eight months on-site

12 Comments

james
#1 Posted by james on 9 Jun 2015 at 12:02 PM
Get back in yer box! This is what we should all aspire to. All Hail! Frank!

“...We are very pleased with the appearance and performance of the building after more than a decade and it looks better than we could have anticipated...''

What's he talking about? A corpse?

Bill S
#2 Posted by Bill S on 9 Jun 2015 at 12:49 PM
I'm just sitting here sighing. Umph.
oh hell-p
#3 Posted by oh hell-p on 9 Jun 2015 at 15:55 PM
the setting for first formative steps of the next 50+ years worth of kids... no ambition, no softness, no playfulness, no daylight - it's cruelty to children
modernish
#4 Posted by modernish on 9 Jun 2015 at 16:48 PM
The only thing it looks like it could possibly prepare children for is prison. It's just mean!
Auntie Nairn
#5 Posted by Auntie Nairn on 9 Jun 2015 at 16:55 PM
In an age where the correlation between good design and learning can be demonstrated, this is just desperate. As someone once commented on another post on this site "the designer's are just glad that poor design doesn't carry a custodial sentence".
Big Chantelle
#6 Posted by Big Chantelle on 9 Jun 2015 at 19:39 PM
I've seen temporary toilet cabins that look better than this!
Sir Ano
#7 Posted by Sir Ano on 10 Jun 2015 at 09:12 AM
I actually attended the original incarnation of this school. by the time it was replaced it was well past it use by date but at least it a a little character about it not to mention larger than postage stamp windows and a little elevational articulation.

I've nothing against modular building when used appropriately i.e. as part of a overall build system but this sort of turn key building product has no place outwith site accommodation, industrial estates..etc

This always was and always will be a money saving/making scheme (depending on what side of the table your one) at the expensive of the child.
de'ils advocate
#8 Posted by de'ils advocate on 10 Jun 2015 at 13:54 PM
playing devils advocate....the school looks usable inside, was likely got for a decent budget - not the usual architect overspend....
none of the children seem to be walking around concerned about the lack of 'design'.
it does the job - can architects handle that it was with their minimal input?
Sir Ano
#9 Posted by Sir Ano on 10 Jun 2015 at 14:20 PM
Its got four walls a roof and some windows what more do you want?........ you make me very sad de'ils advocate.
oh hell-p
#10 Posted by oh hell-p on 10 Jun 2015 at 14:24 PM
#8, my dad, as a kid, played happily on bomb sites and felt loved growing up in a slum but we'd not suggest that sets a suitable standard... give the kids the choice of an open enlivening environment and they'd pick differently, and you can deliver those within a budget!
not so much a devils advocate as a troll me thinks..
Art Vandelay
#11 Posted by Art Vandelay on 10 Jun 2015 at 15:37 PM
Bit concerning that they consider a decade in operation to be 'standing the test of time'...still, I suppose that's not bad for a collection of site huts.
visitor
#12 Posted by visitor on 11 Jun 2015 at 06:42 AM
Anyone who went to school in the 70's probably spent at least some of their time in 'temporary' Portakabin classrooms! The idea that a compltee school can be put together as an emergency response to an unexpected school closure is fantastic. However, the fact that the off-site production alone took 8 months, suggests that this is not quite as fast track as one would expect. The real solution would have been to erect a simpler temporary school in, say three months, leaving time to design an appropriate replacement. The temporary school then goes back into storage until it is needed somewhere again, and can be quickly deployed, in full, or in part. Making it permanent, with a distinctly 'Municpal Ablutions' appearance, is far from the right solution for all concerned (except Portakabin)

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