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Why Swalcliffe Park School have chosen a second eco-building from TG Escapes
Kiran Hingorani CEO of Swalcliffe Park School explains why they have chosen a second eco-building from TG Escapes to provide breakout spaces for their students.
Swalcliffe Park School is a day and residential school for secondary aged (10-19 yrs) for boys with autism. The school’s ethos is based on improving ‘Quality of Life’ outcomes for students and their families which includes a strong focus on helping boys to develop their communication self-management, independence and achievement. As part of their offer to students the school felt that it would benefit from facilities to encourage creativity in the performing arts, and so decided to reclaim an underutilised area in the extensive grounds to create a learning space dedicated to music, dance, and drama.
Working in close collaboration, the teams at TG Escapes and Swalcliffe Park designed a studio which has been much used and loved by students and staff. Three years on, they have approached TG Escapes again to create an additional learning space to allow the school to grow. CEO, Kiran Hingorani, kindly agreed to tell us what they have been doing with their building and why it works so well for the school.
'It has been a real gamechanger, and as time goes on it looks better and better as the natural foliage has grown around it’
Mr Hingorani explained that the openness and adaptability of the space lends itself to a range of different activities beyond its original purpose, making it a really valuable asset to students, families and staff.
These include karaoke nights, plays, music lessons, external speakers (including Frank Bruno who spoke about mental health), meetings, professional workshops, and GCSE exams.
‘It’s a very versatile and beautiful building, and it's a building that people want to be in’
Situated away from the main school, it is a great space for big groups as they can make as much noise as they like. On the other hand, it can also be used as a calm, quiet and comforting space for those in need of an escape from the business of day to day school life. The building not only fulfils all these purposes but is also ideal for staff training activities.
As part of their plan to grow the school, Swalcliffe Park are now preparing to build an entirely new space, in which they are keen to replicate the useful features from the original building. The purpose of the new structure is to provide a quiet space where anxious students can have a peaceful place to be calm and focus on tasks. It is also important that it is accessible to all the students at any particular time. The method of building allows it to be situated exactly where it is needed, without any of the complications involved in extending a current building. This flexibility allows for the building to be designed specifically to fit the school's requirements, while still offering great time and cost efficiencies.
The school is on a beautiful site with a lake and lots of greenery, and they wanted a building which is sympathetic to the environment and has an element of sustainability. The use of a timber frame achieves this and allows the building to fit perfectly within its surroundings.
‘It fits our needs perfectly and in a very time-efficient and cost-efficient way’
TG Escapes design, manufacture and build bespoke eco-buildings for schools using offsite modular timber frame construction. They have over 200 buildings in education throughout the UK featuring classrooms, staff rooms, training centres, studios, chapels, sports pavilions, canteens, nurseries SEND spaces and outdoor classrooms. Customers have rated them 4.9 out of 5 based on 142 reviews.
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