Improvements to Existing Accommodation
Local Government funding for school condition works (this generally covers the type of large-scale replacement and improvement works required) has reduced significantly over the last few years and many large secondary schools struggle to access the funding needed to maintain and improve their buildings. The latest KEVICC's condition survey for the Redworth, and Kennicott sites lists remedial works of over £2.6 million being required in the next 2 years to keep the site in its current state and meet all legal, and health & safety standards, this is highly unlikely to be found through the usual school funding streams. With limited funding available the College and Local Authority has to prioritise urgent health & safety work which means many other maintenance issues are not addressed.
The capital receipt from the proposed disposal of land provides an opportunity for the College to address nearly all the historic condition issues and removes significant ongoing financial liabilities in the form of the old building stock. As the principal secondary school in Totnes, it is important for the College to ensure its accommodation is fit for purpose, meets government recommendations, and provides an inspirational learning environment for students.
The Colleges’ last condition survey was completed in 2020 and identifies several areas in need of significant investment. These include:
The replacement of roof areas for the main building, Redworth Building, and the gymnasium to address life expired flat roofs, failing pitched roofs slipped tiles, and failed concrete roof tiles (circa £480,000) see pictures below:
The replacement of rotting timber frames doors and windows with double-glazed units
- The replacement of defective and non-fire rated doors throughout
- The upgrade of WC facilities which require urgent refurbishment
- The refurbishment of CDT, Art, and ICT rooms
- The replacement of floor coverings throughout prioritising those that are causing immediate trip hazards (circa £400,000)
- Urgent redecoration of external elevations to preserve the fabric of the buildings.
Improvements and upgrading of the electrical components including a recommendation to replace the existing fire alarm with an Addressable type fire alarm in each building; these would identify the precise location of a fire and are recommended for educational establishments
Urgent resurfacing is required throughout the site to uneven tarmac roads, paths and play surfaces to eliminate trip hazards and improve the accessibility of the site (circa £260,000)
The capital receipt from the proposed disposals provides an opportunity to address the majority of these issues to create a safe and effective learning environment ensuring the College continues to be a destination of choice for pupils and parents.
In addition, where possible, the College would seek to use efficient, sustainable solutions which have minimal impact on the environment and will minimise ongoing maintenance/liability costs.
“The refurbishment of our science classrooms four years ago provided us with a great insight into how dedicated, well-equipped, inspirational spaces can help us develop the curriculum and improve student outcomes. Being able to do this across the whole site will have a huge impact on how we are able to provide the very best for the children of Totnes and the surrounding area.”