The Peacehaven Schools project involves the design, build, financing, and maintenance of a new secondary school in Peacehaven, the rebuilding of three primary schools, and an extension of one primary school, altogether accommodating more than 2,000 pupils.
The development included:
- Peacehaven Community Secondary School - A new school, Peacehaven’s first secondary, combining single and two-storey construction, striking modern design, and use of natural lighting and ventilation.
- Peacehaven Infants School - A new building to replace the existing facility with places for 180 pupils, a 25-place nursery, and 10 places for children with special educational needs (SEN).
- Meridian Primary School - Refurbishment of existing school for 420 pupils, with provision for a new privately-run nursery.
- Hoddern Junior School - A new school built on the existing site with places for 240 pupils and 10 for children with SEDN. Facilities include state-of-the-art networked ICT equipment in each classroom with TV links and internet access – plus all new library facilities, furniture, and equipment.
- Telscombe Cliffs Primary School - A new school for 560 pupils built on the existing site and including a new hall, drama hall (both with under-floor heating), group resource areas, library, canteen facilities, an open reception area, and external play areas.
SPV General Manager, Simon Sheridan, explains the importance of developing a flexible and integrated ICT strategy in any schools project.
"Technology now plays a vital part in the lives of our communities. The Peacehaven Schools project incorporated an ICT provision and lifecycle/refresh regime which was designed to meet the anticipated needs of the schools.
"As ICT systems have evolved and their capacity to support a greater range of learning environments broadened, the strategy to allocate the available funds has also been adapted.
"For Peacehaven, the most effective strategy was a joint approach between BAM PPP and the schools, to take the funds available and use them to enhance and develop the ICT provision to make sure it suited the individual needs of each school.
"By doing that, money is used to help the schools manage their ICT needs in line with their own development plans."
This partnership approach meant that via a subsequent agreement between all parties, the PFI contract for the ICT provision was set aside and a strategy group was formed with all stakeholders which outlined the best way forward over for the schools' ICT plan over the next four years.
Commenting on the development, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), said:
"The project represents a new benchmark against which all future projects will be measured."
BAM PPP also constructed Phase 2 – a two-storey teaching block, an IT suite, a resistant materials workshop, and a computer-aided design workshop. This extension to the secondary school is valued at €2.5 million.