Bam wins £24m net-zero school job

Bam has landed a £24m contract to redevelop Fred Longworth High School in Wigan, Greater Manchester.

The contract was won through the Department for Education’s (DfE) high-value framework.

The project will involve building a new three-storey teaching block, tearing down the existing school and creating new pitches for sports. It will increase the school’s capacity from 1,275 to 1,350 pupils.

The contractor said one challenge on site will be to create a new overlay on the current campus while the school continued to operate.

The plan is to retain three existing buildings and make use of intelligence sequencing to do this well. Bam will also build part of the school over the Hindsford Brook culvert, which means the main sewer will have to be diverted as part of the enabling works.

The school will be net zero in operation. As part of making the site more sustainable, the contractor will improve storage solutions, so that deliveries can be minimised and carbon emissions controlled.

Bam said an important part of its work will include managing contamination to the ground and dealing with an invasive plant called Japanese knotweed. Trees will be protected too.

The construction work will be carried out in phases. The first phase will involve the teaching block, with a delivery date of September 2023.

The second phase will cover the demolition work and construction of sports pitches. This will be handed over by spring 2024.

Bam regional director Ian Fleming said: “Our ability to create net-zero schools and use modern techniques, such as our suite of digital construction methods, and offsite manufacture and assembly, allows us to reduce risks to our people and speed up delivery for the school.”

Bam Construct was previously chosen to build an “ultra-green” £30m school in Warwickshire through the DfE.

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