Southampton’s first all-through school emerging from the ground

Southampton’s first all-through school emerging from the ground

Following the start of work on the expansion of St. Mark’s Church of England Primary School last June, the new all-through school is beginning to emerge from the ground.

Over the last few months, Southampton City Council’s appointed contractor, Morgan Sindall, have been busy finishing the demolition of the existing primary school off Shirley Road. During the demolition and excavation of the site, the archaeology team found evidence showing 200 years of school life at St. Mark’s. This included a 19th century Blackwood & Co ink bottle among other findings plus over 30kg of finds dating to the Late Iron Age – early Romano British period (around 200BC to AD200) which is a rare occurrence in this part of Southampton. Soon after the foundations were laid last month, the temporary generators were removed and replaced with the substation that services the entire site. This month, the tower crane will be installed and the first ground floor slab will be poured giving the first glimpse of the new all-through school emerging from the ground.

In line with Southampton City Council’s Green City Charter, Morgan Sindall are actively working to make the best use of resources, reducing their energy consumption and minimising waste. One of the methods for achieving this has been crushing the materials from the old primary school and diverting this waste from landfill by reusing materials in the construction of the new school. Morgan Sindall have managed to reuse around 5000m3 of material on site including excavated material and top soil, the equivalent of 238 lorries delivering material to site and saving three and a half tonnes of CO2.

Morgan Sindall have also used green diesel to avoid the associated combustion emissions from the fuel generators, leading to a 90% reduction of their carbon footprint. The Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel is a paraffinic type, free from aromatics and sulphur and is manufactured from renewable materials. The use of HVO reduces carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter emissions.

Councillor Darren Paffey, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, said:

“The expansion of St. Mark’s all-through school is an ambitious and exciting project in Southampton, creating 900 much-needed new school places. This project also demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that children get the best possible start in life and benefit from best-in-class education facilities.

“It is important that the construction of the new all-through school contributes to our wider council priority of creating a city that is greener, fairer and healthier. I am delighted that Morgan Sindall are doing this through a variety of methods while the Council works with the local community on ways of improving walking and cycling in the neighbourhood surrounding the new expanded school.”

In preparation for the expansion of St. Mark’s C of E School, Southampton City Council’s Green City and Infrastructure team have been working with the local community to develop plans for improving walking and cycling in the neighbourhood. As part of this, virtual Active Travel Zone co-design workshops were held on Wednesday 10 March which 31 residents attended.

During the co-design workshops, residents heard the results of the earlier St. Mark’s Active Travel Zone perceptions survey and worked together in groups to discuss a range of potential measures for making the area safer and more pleasant for everyone. Their thoughts and ideas, along with the feedback from the perceptions survey, will now be reviewed by council engineers and the most popular and feasible options will be put forward to the next stage, which is the design process. The proposed designs for the St. Mark’s Active Travel Zone will be presented back to the community in June for their feedback, with installation work planned to start later in the summer.

Jeff Williams, Director of Education at the Diocese of Winchester, said:

“The new school will offer an educational environment in which pupils can excel for years to come, and the discovery of evidence showing two centuries of school life at St Mark’s is a reminder of our part in the long history of education at this site. Pupils, parents and staff alike are now looking forward to the completion of construction and the fantastic new facilities that it will bring.

“The expanded all-through school will provide an environment in which pupils of all ages can benefit from an excellent education, rooted in Christian values, alongside first-rate sports and other community facilities. The project shows how, working in partnership with the Council, the Church of England is committed to help more children, of all faiths and none, have the best possible start in life.”

Stephanie Bryant, Headteacher of St. Mark’s Church of England Primary School, said:

“It is wonderful now to see the foundations of the new school taking shape and being able to walk through the new footprint on the site. The opportunities that this new building will offer its students and the local community are extremely exciting.”