Derbyshire County Council is looking for an architect to design a £10 million home for Alfreton Park Community Special School
The winner of the estimated £300,000 design contract will deliver a new base for the growing special needs school, which currently occupies a 1970s CLASP Mk3 system-built structure on the former Alfreton Park estate.
The project, planned to start on site in July 2019, will create a new flexible and inclusive 2,827m² complex for the school, which caters for children aged between 2 and 19 with severe learning difficulties. The development will feature at least 12 new classrooms along with a sixth form, sports hall, dining area, library and staff offices.
According to the brief: ‘The school design should support the ethos of the school, to create a positive learning community, to nurture and inspire those who use the building day-to-day. It should provide innovative learning environments that will assist and encourage pupils to achieve.
‘The design should be welcoming and attractive to children, invoking a sense of belonging and self-worth. The family atmosphere of the school community is important to the ethos of the school to ensure that all pupils can flourish and develop maximum independence in adult life.’
Alfreton Park was home to the Palmer Morewood family until 1957 and was thereafter purchased by the local community for community uses. The 1724 Alfreton Hall was partially demolished during the late 1960s due to subsidence caused by mining.
Alfreton Park Community Special School is located a short distance from the Grade II-listed hall and has 84 students with a range of complex learning difficulties, medical needs and impairments. The school occupies a 1,240m² structure originally designed for up to 50 students and considered no longer fit for purpose.
The latest project will deliver a building for up 100 students while keeping the existing school open during construction. The redevelopment aims to upgrade and expand facilities while delivering a ‘pleasant homely yet uncluttered learning environment that is non-clinical and non-institutional’.
The new school will also feature an immersion room, science area, physio room, communications room, two sensory rooms, a soft play and sensory integration area, nurses room and family room.
The selected team will review the existing brief, complete a feasibility study, consider a range of options for the site and develop a BIM strategy for the project. Concept designs will then be created before further developing the scheme for a planning application.
The deadline for applications is 11am, 23 March.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Derbyshire County Council
Tel: +44 1629536712