BAM Construction has been appointed to create a £29 million high school in Dartford, Kent. Stone Lodge School is now making good progress on site following a pre-construction period. The team has already conducted ecological investigations, translocated wildlife and diverted public rights of way. 

BAM has now delivered over 100 schemes across Kent.

“The design at Stone Lodge takes account of learning from our recently completed scheme, the School of Science and Technology in Maidstone,” Construction Director Mick Kelly said.

“That project was up to date evidence of how we go about our work. We have also got a highly experienced construction manager in Daniel Brenchley who lives in Kent and has built many education buildings across the county.”

The new school benefits from BAM’s integrated capabilities with BAM Design and BAM Services Engineering working on the three-storey building, delivering the mechanical and electrical elements. Architect KSS has been novated to BAM and also worked on the Maidstone project.

Leading the scheme on-site is Construction Manager Dan Brenchley who said:

“By bringing more of the work in-house we increase co-ordination and reduce risks which helps us deliver the programme for the school and it enhances our ability to use digital techniques and find modular solutions.”

Dartford has a shortage of secondary places. The school is currently operating from temporary premises so there is enthusiasm for the new premises to begin. It will become home to around 1200 students and an additional 250 or so sixth form students. A separate sports block and external pitches are part of the new facilities.

Section 278 works include the creation of an access road, which will enable the development of a housing estate nearby. BAM’s operations take account of the revised operating procedures necessary to be covid-safe.

“BAM originally learned it had become successful in its competitive tender on the day lockdown was announced. So immediately we required an adjustment to this new way of working for our teams as we began to develop the design.”

Daniel Brenchley adds that the secret to being appointed, “was our level of detail and how well we’d researched who and what was most important to the school. Similarly, when we got the green light for the scheme we were ready to make a planning application within two weeks.

“We enabled the public consultation to be launched online to combat the covid restrictions.”

BAM has developed the original design to enhance the use of space on site. Handover is expected to be in February 2022. The new building is in sight of the Dartford Bridge crossing.