Integral Build completes major refurbishment project at country’s oldest girls’ school

Integral Build has completed an eight month refurbishment project at the country’s oldest girls’ school, creating new, contemporary facilities for students, teachers and visitors within its original Edwardian complex.

The £1.6m transformation at The Red Maids’ School, in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, has resulted in a new library built in a two storey void in the centre of the historic main school building, extensive modernisation and expansion of the school’s dining hall and remodelling of the school’s visitor reception area.

The original redbrick walls of the existing void now surround a new learning space with a contemporary urban feel, equipped with Kindles, iPads, an extensive electronic library with brightly coloured fixtures and fittings, bold lighting and a library desk made entirely from 1,000 recycled books. A steel-framed roof dome creating a large, open air light well completed the newly created facility.

The new library floor had to be pre-strengthened by using an internally installed structural steel supporting frame. The hardwood floors were lifted, foundation pads excavated and concrete poured to support the steel columns and beams, Further steelwork was required to form long internal lintels so parts of the old dining room walls could be taken down to open up the space.

Three new classrooms were built in the space that was previously the school library and disabled access was improved in the main building with a lift, new toilets and a ramped entrance to the rear courtyard area.

The dining room facilities now include a ‘show cooking’ station where hot meals are cooked to order, sparkling water on tap and a brand new servery area.Claudia at copmuter

Tim Stringer, Integral Build Divisional Director said: “This was a technically challenging project because we were working in a live and very dynamic environment and to very specific constraints regarding both the working landscape and term times. Health and safety, cost control and communication were key. Despite some unpredicted structural challenges as the project unfolded, the end result is stunning and we are very grateful to the school which has been immensely flexible.

“This project builds on our specialist expertise in the education sector.”

Peter Taylor, The Red Maids’ Bursar, who oversaw the project for the school, said; “We are fortunate to be situated in a beautiful 12-acre site which has been home to the school since 1911 but this has naturally changed in a number of ways since then.

“This investment is a commitment to ensuring our facilities are the best they possibly can be, in order to benefit our students in their academic and personal development. This is a very satisfying combination of old and new and pupils, and staff are delighted with the end result.”

Integral Build worked with architects Stride Treglown, project managers CMS, structural engineers Jenkins and Potter and services consultant Jones King.

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