6 Sep 2019 01:38
Published by: Daniel Almond

One year on from the ground-breaking of the new £60-million King’s School campus, it is on schedule to be completed by deadline day in May 2020.



The main structure has been finished with the roof already on the main academic building. Ground works on the grass and all-weather sports pitches is well underway and by Christmas work will begin on completing the internal work.


Contractors VINCI UK have already put in place 1,300 tonnes of steel, 14,000 square metres of wall blocks, 15,000 square metres of floor slabs and 11,000 square metres of roofing. Work has begun on building a new roundabout at Four Lane Ends, with the widening of Alderley Road at the two main entrances to the new site to follow, along with street lighting.


A 1.5 km service trench for electrical and ICT cabling and water pipes is under construction to service the site. Two bore holes have been dug out for irrigation of the new sports pitches and there is even water in the new 25-metre swimming pool drawn from the bore hole to test structural integrity.


Currently 150 workers are on site, the vast majority from North West firms, and this is expected to rise to a team of 200 over the next two months. VINCI Project Manager Martin Horton said: “It is a complex logistical exercise which needs meticulous planning, but we all feel we are creating a lasting legacy for the school and the town.”


VINCI Commercial Manager Darren Locke, who has been working with the King’s team from the start, added: “It is probably the most satisfying project that I have worked on in my 23 years with the company.”


Sat between Macclesfield and Over Alderley, the 80-acre site will feature a main academic building and a separate Sports Centre, which have been designed to incorporate as much natural light as possible, with flexible learning areas and spaces for pupil wellbeing, as well as being fully equipped with contemporary ICT infrastructure throughout.


The academic building will provide bespoke accommodation for Infant, Junior, Senior and Sixth Form pupils. The Senior School will include a large Science faculty, an Arts and Design faculty with contemporary workshops, studios and an exhibition space, a Performing Arts faculty with a range of practice rooms, drama halls, a recording studio and a recital theatre, a Modern Foreign Languages faculty with language classrooms and laboratories, dedicated classrooms for English, Mathematics and the Humanities, as well as a central library and large entrance foyer.


An imposing Main Hall seating 950 will be available for both school events and community functions, plus there will be purpose-built facilities for Infant and Junior pupils based on the latest thinking on indoor and outdoor classrooms, a Sixth Form learning zone with specialist tutor rooms, common rooms and a Careers Hub.


The Sports Centre, which will complement the Derby Fields Sports Pavilion, will offer a six lane, 25-metre swimming pool, a sports hall, indoor cricket nets and a dance/martial arts studio. Outside, the 80-acre campus will feature rugby pitches, two all-weather hockey pitches, cricket pitches, netball courts, tennis courts, football pitches, rounders pitches and a 400-metre athletics track.


King’s Director of External Relations Caroline Johnson said: “We already have 29 local organisations using our current facilities at the Cumberland Street and Fence Avenue sites and we believe this will increase significantly when the community sees what this wonderful new facility has to offer.” She added: “It is an incredibly exciting and rewarding time for all those associated with King’s.”


The site will be shielded from the main road by its low-lying location and mature trees have been carefully preserved to circle the site and maintain its natural beauty. A major additional planting scheme is planned. The vast majority of the building is on two floors, though from both the Science faculty and administration centre which are on three floors, there are panoramic views across the Cheshire Plain and to the Derbyshire hills. Caroline added: “The campus has been designed to allow nature and the rural aspects of the landscape to be centre stage, with the buildings surrounded by woodland and then ringed by fields and hills.”



The new school will open its gates to next year’s intake this time next year in September 2020.

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