Oakfield & Bedgrove Childrens Centre at Broughton Community Infants School, Buckinghamshire
Client: Buckinghamshire County Council
Type of works: Wernick Buildings provided a turnkey package, including landscaping, car parks and co-ordinating the new utilities supplies at six sites.
The governments initiative to establish Sure Start care centres for children and their families within the communities in which they reside, has presented modular buildings specialists, Wernick Buildings, with numerous contracts in recent years. Typical amongst these projects have been the six childrens centres which the Neath Abbey-based company has completed for Buckinghamshire County Council. Each centre was treated as a bespoke project, with the exterior designed to blend in with its surroundings.
The local education authority chose modular construction for these sites because factory produced buildings guarantee a consistently high standard of finish, as well as greatly reduced construction times on site. As much of the construction work is completed at the factory, the building site is less dependent on skilled trades-people on site and good weather conditions.
Modular construction is also faster and cleaner and causes less disruption than conventional building methods to a clients on-going business. At the Buckinghamshire County Council projects this greatly benefited the schools that share the same sites as the new childrens centres. The education, nursery and healthcare sectors continue to be the most pro-active in accepting modular construction due to the tight time scales and budget constraints that are generally features of their build programmes.
Wernick Buildings provided a turnkey package for these nursery projects. This included landscaping, car parks and co-ordinating the new utility supplies required at the sites.
The new Oakfield & Bedgrove Childrens Centre at Broughton Community Infants School caters for pre-school children up to 3 years of age and their parents. The children learn through play, and one of the rooms in each of the Buckinghamshire County Council centres is also used for holding clinics from where home visits can also be arranged.
Support is also offered for childminders and job-sharing teachers. Amongst these are men who would otherwise have to arrange for care for their children elsewhere during working hours.
Ann Winsor, the Childrens Centre Co-coordinator for Buckingham East and Buckingham West said: Our building at Steeple Claydon was craned in, in sections, in one day. This was a great day for this rural community, many of whom turned out to watch. Eight weeks later the finished centre was handed-over to us. Two weeks after that we opened for the first time for a parent and toddler music session. The speed with which this building came together was amazing.