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Willmott Dixon wins £10.3m Birkenhead academy contract

Willmott Dixon has been awarded a £10.3 million contract to renovate Birkenhead High School Academy.

The construction firm will remodel and refurbish the existing building as well as adding new accommodation in a new energy-efficient school frame that it says will save the school a substantial sum.

Work will start on-site this month, with completion of the project by October 2012.

Chief executive of Willmott Dixon’s capital works division, John Frankiewcz, said: “While there will always be a need to create new buildings, clients are being more innovative in how they renew them and this includes mixing refurbishment with new-build to modernise and enlarge the facility.

“We have shown recently with Macclesfield High School that taking this approach saved over £4 million compared to going down a new-build route.”

The firm conducted a study last year that found the Macclesfield school had a 22 per cent saving in costs by refurbishing a third of the buildings with the remaining amount as new build resulting in a contract of £15m against a new-build price of £19.5m.

Birkenhead principal Chris Mann said: “The project will enable us to continue providing an excellent all round education for girls within the glorious original buildings but with 21st century facilities.”

The project will see the nursery, infant and junior school modernised and linked together by a new three-storey building which will provide new library and ICT facilities and an assembly hall alongside additional classrooms.

The adjacent secondary school will benefit from the old school hall, built in the 1960s, being replaced by a multi functional central space which will offer a theatre, dining room, study areas and a café alongside a new hall. Other buildings on site will be retained but remodelled and refurbished to match the new facilities.

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