ISG lands £32m Bishop Stortford school project

Artist’s impression of the new Avanti Grange Secondary School

The £32m Avanti Grange Secondary School will provide 1,200 pupil places and serve the new Stortford Fields and St Michael’s Hurst communities.

The new school is being built across a 11.4-hectare site that straddles either side of the A120 road – with the school on one side and playing fields on the other.

The scheme, procured via the Pagabo capital works framework, sees ISG construct a two-storey concrete frame structure with brick façade. The southern zone of the split-site development will house the main school campus, which has a linear form and incorporates a central full-height glazed spine to link classroom, break out, and communal spaces.

There will also be a sports hall and a floodlit multi use games area (MUGA), alongside car parking and drop off areas. A large attenuation swale – a pond structure – will be formed to provide natural drainage and enhance biodiversity. Solar panels on the roof will provide energy.

To access the northern campus zone, ISG will put up a 30-metre span steel footbridge over the A120. The northern site will have five grass sports pitches across three large terraced areas. A cut and fill programme will level the undulating terrain, with excavated material retained on site to form the terraces for the new pitches.

ISG regional director Richard Skone said: “The scale and logistical complexity of the new Avanti Grange Secondary School project really marks this out as a keynote regional scheme that will have a positive legacy for the new communities it serves for many generations. The school represents a significant investment in much needed educational facilities for this thriving part of Bishop Stortford, and the use of the Pagabo framework has maximised procurement efficiencies to bring this important project to site quickly, with expectations that the doors will open for Avanti Grange students in September 2023.”

An initial intake of 180 students is planned in September 2023 although the school will opening temporarily on the site of Avanti Meadows Primary School in September 2022, with spaces for 120 children.

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