Work on a new £2.2m, two-storey extension block at Blacon High School in Cheshire has now completed, expanding the school’s existing facilities to better serve its students.
The new space contains six classrooms to the first floor, with the ground floor housing special education needs (SEN) and dining and welfare spaces.
Leading independent property, construction, and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard provided cost management services throughout RIBA Stages 2 to 7 for the scheme, working closely alongside the contractor and lead designer Pave-Aways Limited.
Fostering a close collaboration with the local planning authority and the project team, Pick Everard advised on key areas of the process to keep the scheme and its scope within the client’s budget, including the sustainability elements, planning requirements and delivery methods.
Upon completion, the new extension has achieved BREEAM Very Good accreditation, with the building also being operationally carbon neutral.
Mark Dando, director for quantity surveying at Pick Everard, said: “This project saw us providing the consultancy services we are well-known in the industry for, including establishing initial budget cost works and monitoring throughout design development, procurement advice, preparation of documentation and management of the tendering process, and post-contract management services.
“Close management of this process has allowed us to make sure that despite any external market factors, we have kept the project within the client’s scope to deliver an excellent extension block that meets its needs and budget alike.”
This project experienced challenges born out of the Covid-19 pandemic, including not being able to meet the original start date, which was set to be at the very begin of the coronavirus outbreak. This required Pick Everard to re-negotiate the contract sum with the contractor, limiting the amount of cost increase due to new market factors.
Councillor Carol Gahan, Cabinet Member for Finance at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “This is one of the first projects to be supported by the Council’s Climate Emergency capital funding and ensuring that the scheme has stayed within budget has of course been really important, particularly given the external pressures caused by the pandemic. We’re thrilled with the final product, which provides pupils at Blacon High School with additional, high-quality facilities – and being operationally carbon neutral helps us play our part in tackling the climate crisis too.”
Jon Parry, operations director at Pick Everard, said: “The project team had a number of challenges to tackle relating to the Covid-19 pandemic. The uncertainty of the past 18 months has put a lot of strain on construction project teams, especially when it has come to cost management, but the whole team has worked together to ensure an excellent and on budget result for the client.
Rachel Hudson, Headteacher at Blacon High School, said: “All the staff and students are delighted with the new extension which will help us to support high quality education for the next generation and beyond.”
Pick Everard employs more than 600 staff across its 13 offices, providing a range of project, cost, and design consultancy services. For more information, please visit www.pickeverard.co.uk.
About Pick Everard:
Pick Everard is a leading independent property, construction, and infrastructure consultancy renowned for cutting-edge sustainable design, delivered through cost effective and efficient project management. Established in 1866, Pick Everard has an award-winning project portfolio covering major retail development, city centre and urban regeneration, commercial and leisure projects. Pick Everard, which has an integrated in-house team of 500 architects, engineers, surveyors, and project managers, has offices in the UK in London, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Bury St Edmunds, Cardiff, Inverness, Bristol, Edinburgh, and Leeds.