Kier to deliver school redevelopment in Bournemouth

Oak Academy artist's impression by Jestico and Whiles

Kier has been appointed by the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver the redevelopment of Oak Academy in Bournemouth. 

A new campus design for the 900-place secondary school will replace the existing buildings on site, have a more concise and efficient layout, and will provide a variety of learning spaces, including science and technology classrooms and improved facilities to cover sport, music, drama and SEND provision. 

Oak Academy will be net zero carbon in its operation, in line with the DfE’s latest output specification requirements. 

It will be a thermally efficient building incorporating the use of air source heat pump technology and a full bio-solar roof with photovoltaic panels. 

The project is funded through the DfE’s School Rebuilding Programme, which was announced in 2020, and is addressing either the rebuilding or major refurbishment of 500 schools with the highest condition need.

The building has been designed using Kier’s kSchool design platform to reflect the school’s desire to serve as the heart of the community. 

The H-shaped layout centres around an open dining space with glazed elevations, adjacent courtyards to encourage socialising and learning, and configurations to allow the school hall, sports hall and changing facilities to be used by the wider community after hours. 

Kier will provide support to the school throughout the design, build, handover and post occupancy phases.

Mark Norris, operations director at Kier Construction London and Southern, said: “We are delighted to be appointed by the Department for Education to create a new home for Oak Academy, one which will deliver improved, sustainable facilities for students, staff and the community.

“This innovative net zero carbon in operation project will combine improved facilities under one roof, making more efficient use of the site’s footprint and allow the school to increase its student and staff intake. 

“We look forward to using our wealth of first-class education facility experience to bring this project to fruition, positively impacting the wider community and its next generation of talent.”

Oak Academy is part of the Ambitions Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust serving schools in or close to the Bournemouth and Weymouth areas. 

Sian Thomas, CEO at Ambitions Academies Trust, said: “We are excited that Oak Academy will have a new school with such superb facilities. Ensuring that future generations will have a great school in which to thrive is so important and means a lot to the whole community.”

This appointment is the latest for Kier on the Department for Education Construction framework and further strengthens its position as a leading provider of educational facilities across the UK. 

Recent appointments include Emmanuel School, a new sustainable community primary school in Havering; Carew Academy, a new SEND school in Wallington; Katharine Lady Berkeley's School, a partial rebuild project in Wotton-under-Edge; and Thomas Keble School, a new secondary school in Gloucester. 

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