Mount Street Academy is situated in Lincoln and, at almost 100 years old, occupies a traditional brick building that has, like most older schools, been developed and extended over the years to accommodate the school’s changing needs and increasing numbers of pupils. A most recent addition to the school is a temporary building that solves its pressing need for a large, open space to fulfil the school hall function while the existing hall undergoes significant maintenance.
What We Say - We Do
“From the very first phone call we felt completely confident in choosing Smart-Space to help us” explained the school’s Site Manager, Andrew Stokes who managed the build logistics with the Staffordshire based supplier. “I can’t speak highly enough of Antony Hunt, the MD, who happened to answer my phone call. They do what they say they will, on time and exactly to schedule.”
Operational in 5 Days
“We chose the Smart-Space temporary building solution for a number of reasons – obviously price played a part but, more than that, we knew we were in capable hands. We were delighted that the building was delivered in pieces and built on-site as our school is in a residential area with narrow roads full of parked cars and a limited gate width. The whole build took place in our February half-term and was fully operational, electrics and all, within five days.”
Happy to temporarily sacrifice part of the school’s playground, the Smart-Space building has blended in very well with no objections from residents and nothing but praise from school staff, parents and, of course, the pupils themselves. Despite it having no windows it is light, dry and airy – perfect for its many uses: PE lessons, lunchtime dining, school assemblies, parent events and much more.
Safe and Secure
The alternative options didn’t meet all the wish-list criteria specified in terms of the space and height available. They also didn’t feel as substantial and secure as the Smart-Space option.
The safety aspects of the temporary hall were very important to Mount Street. “It is an excellent building but there were a couple of safety issues that we didn’t anticipate. Thankfully we have managed to navigate them” explained Andrew. “The entrance and fire doors require anchoring whilst the children are entering and leaving the building to avoid the potential for trapped fingers which we organised. This type of issue only came to light as we progressed through the build. Education is a new environment for Smart-Space as, historically, they have installed buildings, workshops, storage bases, showrooms and other applications within a commercial or industrial environment” he explained. “So you can guess that none of us anticipated the opportunity for play equipment to disappear under the small gap between the building and the floor! This is something we have worked around and for which Smart-Space is currently looking to create a longer term solution”.
In fact Smart-Space has enjoyed the challenge of working in the education sector and is now designing a cover for the footings of the building so they are protected and hidden.
Can do Attitude
Talking to Andrew Stokes it became apparent that the Smart-Space positive culture permeated throughout the business as he complimented every member of the team for their enthusiasm and ‘can-do’ attitude. The Smart-Space build team are employees of the company and not subcontractors which means response times are completely within the company’s control and a thorough understanding of the product shows through.
Demonstrably, Smart-Space’s investment in the team creates a really positive and efficient result for the client.
It is expected that the temporary school hall will be in use for the next 6-12 months which will allow the school the breathing space it needs to bring the existing hall up to a good enough standard to be brought back into use.
“The choice to introduce a Smart-Space building has proved more than satisfactory and we are actually very proud to be asked to talk about this project” finished Andrew Stokes.