The Sunday Times’ International Baccalaureate school of 2014 has been working with offsite construction specialists, Actavo | Building Solutions, to create a sixth form study centre to meet the school’s need for a world-class facility.

Tonbridge Grammar School in Deakin Leas, Tonbridge, gained access to its modular building after just 26 weeks onsite, to meet the demand for pupil places quickly and efficiently.

Designed to inspire and motivate pupils, Actavo created the ‘IBarn’ – a brand-new, two-storey, sixth form hub created to improve pupil facilities and respond to rapid student growth. The ground floor of the new sixth form includes a café, collaborative learning areas and changing rooms while the first floor comprises an ICT suite alongside two large spaces that can be used as classrooms, independent study, seminar areas or opened up for lectures and presentations.

The IBarn also frees vital space in the existing sixth form accommodation to enhance student development.

Matthew Goff, UK operations director at Actavo | Building Solutions, said: “Perhaps the popularity offsite construction has in the education sector is due to its speed, versatility and cost-effective nature.

“The competitive funding mechanisms and demand for school places at Tonbridge Grammar School meant tight deadlines enhancing the school’s need for speed.”

As part of the tender process, Actavo | Building Solutions developed a 3D animation to enable the school to visualise how the new facility would look once complete.

“As one of the UK’s top performing international baccalaureate schools, it was imperative we had a sixth form study centre that met the needs of the internationally minded curriculum. Actavo has helped us achieve this with the creation of the ‘IBarn’,” says Rosemary Joyce, Tonbridge Grammar School’s Head Teacher.

“Actavo has provided us with a sixth form facility that has the perfect balance between form and function. The contemporary feel of the ‘IBarn’, careful use of glass provides both students and teaching staff with an open, spacious and well ventilated space which supports the focus on collaborative, independent and reflective learning that is a feature of our school.

“The study centre also provides the ideal learning space for those preparing for university and enabled refurbishment of the vacated classrooms, facilitating more flexible space for our talented musicians.

“As well as being architecturally attractive, our new modular facility is an aspirational space to both work and study. Proving the cost-effective and speedy solutions offsite construction offers in no way takes away from the quality of the final building,” says Rosemary.

To view our exclusive walk-through and video testimonial from Tonbridge Grammar’s head teacher, Rosemary Joyce, please click here.
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