roject: King’s School
Location: Chester, England
Powers’ involvement: Topographical survey, underground utilities survey and some measured internals
Project completion: January 2021
The Project at King’s School, Chester
As the King’s School in Chester is an independent, academically selective school taking girls and boys from ages 4-18 years old. The school has been educating children in Chester for 475 years. It blends its long-standing traditions with 21st Century innovations to offer a truly outstanding education. The schools consist of Willow Lodge (age 4-7 years), The Junior School (age 7-11 years), The Senior School (age 11-16 years) and Sixth Form (age 16-18 years).
The school offers many facilities to its students. Which includes a swimming pool, theatre, an all-weather floodlit pitch, sports pitches, and its recently developed £4.5m Sports Centre. In addition, the school is currently undergoing a programme of refurbishment and there is a proposed new 6th Form Block and Science Block extension that forms part of this work.
The architect working with the King’s School was tasked with designing the extension for this new programme of work. Powers was appointed by the King’s School to carry out a topographical survey, underground utilities surveys and some measured internal building surveys to help inform some of the decisions that needed to be taken by the architect. The areas that needed to be surveyed included some of the classrooms, the common hall and kitchens and staircases.
The project was awarded to Powers shortly before the Christmas break in 2020, but unfortunately the team only got half a day on site before Christmas. With the school shutdown over Christmas, Powers had to be able to pick up where it left off when it returned to the site in January.
Another challenge was that as the main topographical and utilities surveys were due to be carried out in the car park and courtyard areas, which post-holiday would be full of students. The team needed to identify a way of carrying them out safely, without impacting or disturbing any teachers, students or parents.
As the UK went back into lockdown at the end of December, the Powers team was able to start work on the project straight away in the new year, without disturbing anyone.
The work was completed within the first two weeks of January and provided extensive detail for the architect. This included all the underground utilities such as gas, electricity and water, as well as BT and lighting cabling.
The Covid lockdown meant the Powers team could get on with the job and finish in good time. The designs are currently with the council for planning permission. The school is hoping that work will start on site next year (2022).
Scott Desert from Scott Architecture explained: “We have worked with the team at Powers in the past, and know that the company provides a thorough and professional service. These surveys are very important to our work, as the more information we have, the better the plans that we produce are. Information like the location and depth of different utilities, and the materials that they are made from, all help inform the final designs.”