New primary and nursery school in Basildon reaches construction milestone with roof completed

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 From left to right – Kelli Sly and Greg Barsby, Essex County Council / Boutaina Madani, Pick Everard / Matt Ager, Barnes Construction / Candice McPherson, Essex County Council / Kevin Tyrrell, Barnes Construction / Councillor Tony Ball / Dermott Kavanagh, Sue Jackson, Julie Bird, Lee Chapel Academy Trust / Dan Mackenzie, Barnes Construction / Duncan Harlock, Valerie Garcia, Essex County Council / Richard Carr, Concertus / Reece Kerry, Andrew Farn, Barnes Construction Photo credit: PagePix

A milestone has been reached in the construction of a new £10.6 million, 476-place nursey and primary school in Basildon.

On Wednesday 22 May, Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, joined representatives from the Lee Chapel Multi Academy Trust, local county and district councillors and members of the project team, to take part in a topping out ceremony marking the completion of the roof and the installation of the 242 photovoltaic (solar) panels.

Essex County Council awarded the contract to Barnes Construction who is working with its appointed architect, Concertus Design and Property Consultants, to deliver the new school which will serve the Westley Green Development to the south of the town. The school has been designed as NetZero in operation and is totally electrically powered. As well as the solar panels on the roof, the building includes air source heat pumps, variable temperature heating systems, energy efficient LED lighting and natural ventilation units with heat recovery. The building fabric comprises structural insulated panels (SIPs), with U-values enhanced beyond building regulations requirements.

 Councillor Tony Ball, Essex County Council / Sue Jackson Lee Chapel Academy Trust / Dan Mackenzie, Barnes Construction

Pick Everard has been appointed as Essex County Council’s project manager for the scheme, which when completed will be run by the Lee Chapel Multi Academy Trust and provide places for 420 primary school and 56 early years children. The new two-storey building will have a central main hall that divides the nursery and primary provision, 16 classbases and a library. Outside there will be a new multi-use games area (MUGA) and two grass football pitches.

Councillor Tony Ball, Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability at Essex County Council, said: “I have very much enjoyed seeing the significant progress made in the construction of this school thanks to the hard work of Barnes Construction and Concertus.

“Everything about this school is cutting edge, from the solar-panelled roof to the structural insulated panels in the fabric of the building. No stone is being left unturned in our pursuit of NetZero.

“Through the capable hands of Lee Chapel Multi Academy Trust, local families will get to see their children thrive in first-class educational facilities with nearly 500 school places being made available.”

Sue Jackson, CEO of Lee Chapel Trust, which is to run the new school, said: “The topping out ceremony marks the significant progress that has been made in building our new state-of-the-art school and means we remain on target to welcome the children to Chapel Hill Primary School & Nursery on 2nd September 2024. The school is being built as a ‘sister school’ to Lee Chapel, where demand significantly exceeds the number of places. Chapel Hill will, like its sister Lee Chapel, quickly become a centre of educational excellence that is the jewel in Basildon’s crown”.