Oldham Schools – Manchester PFI Schools

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Oldham Schools PFI project : Architecture Information

North Manchester Education Development, northwest England, UK

11 Jun 2009

Oldham Schools PFI

Oldham and Manchester

Design: Architects Co-Partnership Ltd

Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award Finalist 2009

Oldham Schools PFI Oldham Schools PFI Oldham Schools PFI

Project Description

The Radclyffe School, Oldham, and Failsworth School, Manchester, have both been rebuilt under this ambitious PFI project.

The schools occupied multiple sites and the goal was to bring each school back to a single location. The council wanted to create state of the art facilities which would raise pupil aspirations and also be valued by the whole community. Attendance levels and exam results have already improved.

The designs are based around a central covered ‘street’, linking the rectilinear and curvilinear blocks housing different faculties. The street acts as a meeting place and provides a flexible resource in the heart of the school. The spacious, modern learning environments help young people to feel comfortable and react positively, boosting their confidence and ambition. External materials contrast with the local style, helping the schools stand out as beacons. Landscaped areas are planted with native species, encouraging biodiversity.

Collaboration between the school communities and the design team was fundamental. Both schools demonstrate that affordability and design quality are not mutually exclusive and can be delivered successfully through a PFI project.

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Judges’ comment
“A covered ‘street’ connects the buildings in each of these 1,500 place secondary schools which have delighted students and teachers.”

Oldham Schools PFI Project – Building Information

Client: Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council
Principal designer: Architects Co-Partnership Ltd
Principal contractor: Kier North West
Contract value: £54.3m


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Website: www.equitysolutions.org.uk/portfolio/oldham-schools-pfi