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Bishopston comprehensive school - remodelling and refurbishment

This project is jointly funded by Welsh Government's 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme and Swansea Council.

The Outline Business Case (OBC) was approved by WG in February 2019; Cabinet approved the scheme and contract award in May 2020. The Full Business Case was approved by WG in June 2020.

Work is progressing to implement plans to undertake an extension, remodelling and refurbishment project to address condition and suitability issues. The programme of works will be phased as appropriate to prioritise the areas of greatest need.

The project includes:

  • Refurbishment to address as a priority condition category C and D elements.
  • Backlog maintenance significantly reduced.
  • Remodelling and extension or new block to address suitability issues.
  • Improvements to building efficiency.

Progress update - September 2022

Over the past few months Kier have been refurbishing a significant amount of the school's specialised teaching areas which included the remaining Science classrooms, along with the CDT, Food Technology, Textiles and Geography classes. On top of these works during the summer holidays Kier also completed the mechanical and electrical upgrade to the school kitchen, as well as working on a number of other areas across the school site.

A lot of hard work and long hours were put in by Kier and their contractors in order to ensure all these areas were completed on time. The school staff worked hard to ensure the teachers were settled into their refurbished classes in readiness to welcome the students on their first day of term. The students now benefit from light, airy and freshly painted classrooms with new furniture.

At the end of the term, we had to say goodbye to the School Ambassadors who visited the site on a regular basis and managed to see what goes on behind the scenes of a building site. We now look forward to welcoming a new group of ambassadors who will be able to see the final few phases of the project through to completion.

Kier have now moved onto Phase 6 of the project which includes the Resource Centre, Network and History classrooms.


Project timeline

All dates are provisional and will be confirmed at each stage of the process.

Project timeline



Pre-construction phase - now complete

January 2018 - November 2018

Develop concept plans for school to RIBA stage 2

May 2018 - July 2018

Stakeholder engagement with pupils and staff completed

November 2018 - February 2019

Tender process to appoint a contractor

January 2019

Finalise and submit SOC/OBC for WG approval

March 2019 - October 2019

Design Development to RIBA stage 2-4

March 2020

Finalise and submit FBC for WG approval

Construction phase

June 2020 - July 2020

Demolition period

July 2020 - September 2022

Remodelling and refurbishment undertaken in phases across the school

July 2020 - June 2021

Installation of modular block and construction of new entrance

December 2022 - March 2023

Handover of final phase to the school and completion of the construction phase


Project team

Mr Jeff Bird, Headteacher

Stuart Page, Project Manager

Sarah Rees, Project Support Officer

Claire Lewis-Hopkins and Lee Wyndham, Beyond Bricks and Mortar, Community Benefits

Julian Elsey, ICT Business Relationship Coordinator, Information and Business Change

Darrel Barnes, Architectural Design Manager

Wayne Ganderton, NEC Project Manager, Aecom Consultants

Robert Barnes - Senior Quantity Surveyor

Peter Rogers, Senior CDM Construction Officer

Community benefits

The Council is committed to supporting local firms and creating jobs for local people. During the proposed works, the Principal Contractor will use local suppliers, where possible, for materials and products. Contractors will be encouraged to employ local workers and offer work experience to unemployed young people.

As part of the Kickstart programme Kier have employed a young labourer from Swansea for a six month placement, during this time Harry will be able to see at close hand all the different opportunities within the construction industry which will hopefully help him decide which path he should take.

Pupil engagement

STEAM (Science, Technology, English, Art and Maths) engagement will form an integral part of the project. The contractor and Council will work together with the school to support learning opportunities throughout the build project.

Kier have been working with the school's art department to create some art work for the site hoarding, the theme being Coastal Environment. Through word and images pupils have painted clear messages in their art work of the need to protect and sustain the coastal environment.

Kier have also supported and encouraged the school to form a small group of pupil ambassadors who visit the site on a regular basis and along with Kier's site manager walk the areas being refurbished. This gives the pupils an understanding of all the work and infrastructure being installed behind the scenes, this is then fed back to the whole school through regular assemblies ensuring all pupils are updated on the project.

Community projects

As part of the Bishopston School contract, Kier have supported Bishopston Primary school with clearance and maintenance works to their nature garden.

During the Easter break work took place to:

  • remove the existing concrete shed;
  • clear the nature area of rubbish and rubble;
  • patch up the existing fence line as well as creating a base for an outdoor classroom.

The school are thrilled with the work undertaken and are looking forward to using more of the outdoor area during the summer term.

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