The new Bere Regis primary school, which was completed in December 2016, has been shortlisted for the Civic Building of the Year Awards, promoted through the Society for Public Architecture, Construction, Engineering and Surveying (SPACES).
The school was constructed as part of Dorset County Council’s Purbeck Reorganisation programme and followed the ‘baseline design’ approach developed by the council’s Dorset Property team. Baseline design is a standardised, repeatable design that provides innovative, practical and low-cost solutions, without compromising quality.
The new 140-place primary school includes five class bases, a hall, games court, grass playing field and a pre-school facility. The previous old brick building was home to the school for over 80 years and was not large enough or appropriate for teaching today’s curriculum.
Wayne Roberts, Headteacher of Bere Regis Primary School: “It’s a wonderful new facility which will add hugely to what we can offer the children here at the school.”
The choice of materials and their colour has been used to blend the building into the natural rural environment. The series of high level windows gives visual character and ensures maximum use of natural ventilation and daylighting to help reduce energy usage and maintenance costs and allow simple control by the school. Photovoltaic panels, high levels of thermal insulation and robust sound and air tightness details were adopted.
The building allows for flexibility and future adaptability; internal walls can be removed and remodelled, if future needs arise, under the steel framed roof structure.
The school was designed to be used by the local community by providing access to the school hall, toilets and a kitchen area without compromising the security of the teaching spaces.
Cllr Peter Wharf, county council member for North West Purbeck, commented: “The new Bere Regis Primary School is a first-class facility for local people.”
There is a shortlist of 19 projects for various awards and the winners will be announced on 11 October in Cambridge.
To see more about the work of the council’s Dorset Property team visit dorsetforyou.gov.uk and search for ‘Dorset Property’.