A thoughtfully designed extension to the existing dining hall at Christchurch Academy is now providing much-needed additional internal and alfresco dining areas for pupils at the school.
Design & build works were carried out by Fords of Blythe Bridge to create the additional dining space and accommodate increasing pupil numbers, and provides additional areas for hot & cold dining and covered external seating areas.
Internally, construction works have created a single additional large open-plan space with new seating areas for pupils having sandwiches and snacks. Remodelling works to the entrance and existing dining hall have increased the capacity for pupils having a hot lunch, as well as improving the working environment and flow for catering staff. The high-ceilinged design of the new extension coupled with high-level glazing and choice of finishes has successfully created a bright and airy lunchtime area for pupils.
Externally, the building has been clad in Siberian larch with anthracite windows doors, rainwater goods and canopies. The glazed canopies to two elevations provide an outdoor space for alfresco dining and socialising during break times.
A programme of hard and soft landscaping was also carried out as part of the project, including tumbled block paved courtyards and integrated timber seating to the external dining areas, new tarmac pathways and turfed landscaping to enhance the external appearance.
A key challenge was to keep the existing dining hall, kitchen and wider school site fully operational at all times during the construction phase, which was successfully achieved through careful project programming and close liaison with the school and project designers at all times.
The project was completed on time and within budget, and the school is delighted with the positive impact the extension has had for the school.
Bethany Lees, project designer at Entrust Support Services commented: “Fords of Blythe Bridge delivered the project on time and in a safe and efficient way. There were several site restrictions imposed on the contractor due to the school continuing to use the dining hall for the lunch service and breakfast club.”
“The contractor accommodated this and worked around the operating hours and kept and clean and tidy site to minimise disruption.”