BAM has begun enabling works on a £7 million project to expand Holyrood Academy in Chard, Somerset.

BAM has been appointed as principal contractor to deliver the construction of the new two-storey building in partnership with Futures for Somerset, the Local Education Partnership appointed by Somerset County Council to deliver the new accommodation block. 

Designed by Grainge Architects, the new building will incorporate a purpose-built student/dining area, six classrooms and new office space and meeting rooms. The scheme also includes an extensive refurbishment of the school’s existing accommodation and the modernisation of science facilities.

Work is already underway, beginning with the safe demolition of the former Cresta swimming pool. The new building will be all-electric and fitted with energy efficient fabric in line with Somerset County Council’s climate change strategy. 

Tim Chell, BAM Construction’s Western Regional Director, covering South West England and South Wales, commented: ‘This is another important educational scheme for Somerset that will increase Holyrood Academy’s capacity by an extra 225 places and help to support the Council’s strategic plans to address the demand for additional education spaces as the local population grows. We are delighted to have been appointed to deliver this project that will demonstrate BAM’s established credentials in building sustainable, energy-efficient schools in the region.’ 

Cllr Clare Paul, Cabinet Member for Education and Public Health at Somerset County Council said: ‘We’re investing millions in schools and school places across Somerset to meet growing demand and to deliver high quality education. This £7 million project is exciting news for the school, for the town and the wider community and will ensure school places are there in future to meet Chard’s growing population.’

David McCormick, Head Teacher at Holyrood Academy commented: ‘We are delighted that the demolition work is complete and the construction of our new building is now underway. The students and staff are very excited by the plans and are looking forward to seeing them take shape. This expansion project is an incredibly exciting one for our school community as it will provide a high-quality and purpose-built dining facility for our students to enjoy, as well as additional classroom space, offices and a student entrance/reception. We can’t wait to move in.’

The BAM project team working on the construction of the new school building includes Assistant Site Manager, George Pitman, a former student at Holyrood Academy who is nearing the completion of his BAM apprenticeship in construction management.

BAM’s association with education in Somerset is particularly strong. The company has created at least a dozen education schemes in the past decade including Bridgwater College Academy, Weston College Academy, the Arts House for Somerset College, Bishop Foxes primary school, Queen Camel primary in Yeovil, Taunton Academy and secondary schools, Chilton Trinity and Robert Blake Science College.

In addition, BAM recently conducted market-leading embodied carbon assessment at Somerton Primary School and is building two other new passivhaus schools in Somerset, Comeytrowe and Orchard Grove.

The BAM team has already been active in delivering social value by working with charity, Forest of Hearts, to help plant 700 trees in a single day.