ISG wins £6 million scheme with first Greater Manchester free school

ISG has been awarded a £6 million fast-track project, via the North West Construction Hub (NWCH) framework, to refurbish and fit out the building that will become the permanent home for Greater Manchester’s very first ‘Free School’.

The project sees ISG transform a disused secondary school in Atherton, Greater Manchester, into Atherton Community School; a Free School delivered by Chapel St Community Schools Trust, along with local parents, teachers and community leaders. The school currently operates with just 42 Year 7 students out of rooms at the local town hall and, once the vacant school building has been refurbished, Atherton Community School will move across to its new site in September 2013, where it will have a maximum intake of 650 pupils, including a dedicated sixth form teaching block with capacity for up to 200 senior students.

The school building has been vacant for two years and the refurbishment project will involve demolition of the existing Design & Technology block and drama studio, along with the complete strip out to shell and core of the remainder of the building. The school will then be remodelled, upgraded and fitted out to modern education standards, including the installation of efficient mechanical and electrical services, the creation of new classrooms, toilet blocks, a commercial kitchen and staff rooms.

ISG will deliver a full turnkey construction solution, including equipping the Science and Design & Technology blocks with specialist laboratory equipment. Externally, ISG will also be responsible for creating a new car park for the sixth form and remodelling the current landscaping scheme to provide an improved environment and enhanced accessibility.

The project is the latest high profile scheme secured by ISG as part of the influential NWCH, which has seen the company working across the entire North West region, encompassing projects within Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.

ISG’s Jim Parker, managing director - North West, commented: “Working closely with the team behind Greater Manchester’s first Free School has provided a real insight into the passion and commitment that underpins the establishment of this pioneering institution. In addition to providing purpose-built accommodation for Atherton Community School, this project also represents a transformational community regeneration scheme, turning a surplus and unused property into a busy and vibrant centre of learning.”