Construction begins on £5m school expansion project

Morgan Sindall Construction has begun work at Horsforth School in Leeds, where it is building a two-storey teaching block to accommodate 365 new students, helping to address the city’s demand for school places.

As part of this the company is currently working with Leeds City Council, consultant partners and Leeds further education providers to raise aspirations and professional career attainment among local care leavers with work placements in management roles and career coaching.

Employment and training opportunities within the build programme will also be created, as well as sessions with students at Horsforth School and other local educational institutions.

The 365 new school places includes 65 for sixth formers, taking the school’s capacity to 1,765, and will enable the creation of a further 20 full-time jobs.

The new 17,800 sq ft building will include classrooms, science labs, computer rooms and a library. It is being built on the existing tennis courts, with four new courts will be built to replace them.

The £5m project will also incorporate a new school entrance on the south of the site together with the construction of sports facilities and 20 new car parking spaces.

Opened in 1972, the school currently educates around 1,400 students aged between 11 and 18.

Nick Theos, Morgan Sindall Construction’s project manager for the scheme, said: “It’s great to finally get started on this brilliant new addition to Horsforth School.

“The past year has reiterated how crucial quality learning environments are for both students and teachers, and so it’s a real privilege to help build a new facility that will go some way to helping the students at Horsforth reach their potential.

“We’ve really looking forward to holding sessions with the students so we can share insights into the many different stages of a construction project, and demonstrate that there’s much more to our industry than just what can be seen out on site.”

Dr Paul Bell, head teacher at Horsforth School, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have broken ground and to have started our expansion.

“This is a vital development for the families in Horsforth, many of whom would go to other schools if we did not expand and we are pleased to be working with Leeds City Council to meet the area’s basic need.”

Councillor Jonathon Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “It’s fantastic to see work to expand Horsforth School get underway.

“We’re committed to meeting the increasing demand for secondary school places across Leeds and are working hard to make sure every child gets a place at one of their preferred schools.

“This expansion will play an important role in achieving that ambition.

“It’s also vital that we do everything we can to improve employment and training opportunities and I’m pleased that Morgan Sindall Construction has committed to providing these within the build programme so that young people can learn more about a career in construction.”

The project, procured through Pagabo’s Medium Works Framework, is expected to complete in spring 2022.

Karen Carter, regional relationship manager at Pagabo, said: “The expansion will create not just additional places for students and staff, but also significantly improve the facilities available to current pupils, providing them with high-quality spaces to learn and grow.

“It’s also really pleasing to see there’s a serious commitment from the whole delivery team to provide employment and training opportunities throughout the duration of the build for students at Horsforth and other local education institutions, helping to spark an interest in the construction industry as a potential career path for them.”