20 July 2017 - 07:49

New School in Tonbridge 'leaves lasting impression' says Inspector

New School in Tonbridge 'leaves lasting impression' says Inspector

Hemel Hempstead. 18 July 2017 - The team behind a brand new school building in Tonbridge has been praised for 'leaving a positive and lasting impression' on the local area.

Independent inspectors from the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) visited the new Nexus School in Upper Haysden Lane (formerly the Ridge View School of Cage Green Road, Tonbridge).  The new building caters for children with additional and special needs and is being built by BAM Construction.

The CCS visits around 10,000 construction schemes across the UK every year. Its Inspector ranked the site’s approach as 'excellent', and singled out the team’s approach to respecting the local community which he scored as 'exceptional'.

“The team has made a positive impact by supporting the local school and colleges”, he said, “the team has given careers and safety talks and hosted a number of visits”.

One particular initiative was inviting the students at neighboring Hadlow College near Tonbridge to design a “sensory garden,” providing a range of different textures, colours and sounds in a safe outdoor setting. The design competition for the undergraduates gave an opportunity to research alternative planting schemes and structures to provide sensory interest. BAM gave the winner a £200 prize. 

Project Manager James Gray said: 'We actively approach schools and colleges in the areas where we build because we recognise what a great learning opportunity a construction scheme presents. When carefully managed, students can get a huge amount of practical benefit from understanding how we work, and also, a great sense of excitement. We need them to be the engineers and surveyors of the future.' 

UTC Medway has also had its students visit.

Nexus School is one of four schemes in the county all being delivered by BAM and funded by Kent County Council.  The new school is nearing completion and will be handed over to Kent County Council in August in time for the staff to plan for the students in September.

It includes facilities such as a hydrotherapy pool, soft play and sensory rooms, together with fully fitted classrooms and outdoor play spaces.  In addition, a life skills building has been built to provide a home environment to teach independent living skills for the older students.

Jacqui Tovey, Headteacher, Nexus School, said: 'It has been a huge learning curve for me as  head teacher to be involved in the design of such an amazing learning environment and all Bam staff have been exceptionally supportive. The Student Council have been making regular visits to the new building and have been able to take photographs and report back to all of the other students about how the building is progressing. All of the students are very excited about their new school and we can’t thank Bam enough for making our vision a reality.'

Further information: Mark Slattery, Press and Media Manager, BAM Construct UK Ltd, 01442 238415.