Cornwallis Academy

This was one of the most significant construction projects in the Maidstone area with a total value of £35 million. The project was for the construction of a new academy with a building footprint of 6,000 sq m, on the site of the Cornwallis secondary school.

The procurement process was lengthy from time of initial enquiry through to work starting on site during which time many value engineering items were researched in order to bring the overall project within budget. Several of the ideas put forward by Gallagher were adopted with the main contractor, including amended drainage design proposals leading to reduced depths, lengths of run and overall cost savings, involvement with the surface water attenuation storage methodology, spoil movement, storage and reuse on site, including proposals for the reuse of demolition materials from the existing schools construction. Gallagher was able to draw on its experience in programming, time management and sequencing of works to provide betterment of the main contractor’s construction programme.

The scale of the project is noteworthy - 20,000 cu m of excavation, 4,000 cu m of ready mixed concrete (supplied by Gallagher), 400 tonnes of reinforcement, 1500 cu m of attenuation, 10,000 cu m of imported engineering fill (supplied by Gallagher), 2,500 lin m of ductwork, 3,500 lin m of drainage and 25,000 sq m of external areas.

The work was executed whilst the existing school continued to operate and so safety and security were most important and the phasing programme had to be carefully coordinated. The master plan saw the construction of the new Academy on the existing playing fields of the current school. Upon completion of the new building by Easter 2011, school activities transferred from the existing structures whereupon they were demolished. Gallagher then returned to site to construct the new car park and playing fields over the footprint of the existing school.