Improving facilities at Yewstock School by creating a new 14-19 base on the Sturminster Newton High School site.

The project and background

Yewstock School in Sturminster Newton is a school for children with profound and multiple, severe, moderate or complex learning difficulties. The previous school facilities had become inadequate for the needs of many of the students. The accommodation was a mixture of temporary and outdated classroom spaces.

The project will improves the 14-19 facilities at Yewstock School by providing a new base on the Sturminster Newton High School site.  A new single storey building has been constructed and includes:

  • 5 classbases
  • a commercial training kitchen
  • a multi-purpose arts studio
  • social and recreational spaces
  • other learning areas and support facilities
  • external learning and social spaces within a secure perimeter
  • a car park with zone for minibus drop-off

The project started on site in the May of 2014 and was completed in the summer of 2015.

The design

The new building is single storey and built around a central social courtyard space. The scale of the building is in keeping with the nearby school buildings and houses.  The main entrance is next to the minibus pick up and drop off area. There is also a second entrance for pedestrian flows from Yewstock School.

The courtyard provides an internal secure environment around which the teaching accommodation will be arranged. The internal circulation will flow from the entrance points around the courtyard space, providing views and natural daylight as well as access to the classrooms and other accommodation.

Each classroom has its own south facing mono-pitched roof. These roofs provide the classrooms with daylight and natural cross ventilation.  Accessible design solutions include the creation of pedestrian routes to link the new building to the main access point of the site and the main buildings of Sturminster Newton High School, and a pedestrian path to Yewstock School.  A 3d journey around the design is available for viewing: 

Yewstock School 3d journey around the design

The design and sustainability

Sustainable design solutions include:

  • photovoltaic panels
  • high levels of insulation
  • the use of natural ventilation
  • high level fenestration to achieve good levels of day lighting

External works and landscape

The secure boundary of the school has been formed by a 2.0 metre high weld-mesh fence, with hedge and tree planting to provide screening.

The drop off zone and car park is located in the north of the site, with the main entrance as close as possible. This area has been designed so that seven minibuses can drop off and pick up at any time. There is also parking for staff cars and visitors.  Within the courtyard there are timber seats and raised beds that will provide places for individuals or small groups to use.

Within the secure grounds there is a horticultural area, with poly-tunnels and keep fit equipment appropriate to the pupils who will use the facility.  Soft and hard play areas are also be provided.

The design team and main constructor

The project to create the new Yewstock 14-19 Base was procured and project managed by Dorset Property.  The design team and main constructor were as follows:

  • Client: The Asset Management Group for Cabinet, represented by the Director of Children's Services
  • Project manager: Dorset Property
  • Architect: Dorset Property
  • Cost consultant: Dorset Property
  • Mechanical engineer: Dorset Property
  • Electrical engineer: Dorset Property
  • Landscape architect: Dorset Property
  • Structural engineer: Parsons Brinkerhoff Ltd
  • CDM co-ordinator: Jenkins and Potter
  • Clerk of works: Dorset Property
  • Main constructor: R G Spiller Ltd

Dorset Property

Name: Dorset Property
Tel: 01305 225200
Full contact details

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