School fencing and gates installed for Four Oaks primary school

School fencing and gates installed for Four Oaks primary school

Procter Fencing Systems has supplied and installed perimeter school fencing, matching pedestrian gates and a powered sliding gate for vehicular access at Four Oaks Primary School in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham.

This enabled the school to address a shortcoming in perimeter security identified in a recent Ofsted report. Much of the work was undertaken during term time, including installing and commissioning the automated gate, without disrupting the operation of the school in any way.

As well as undertaking the design, manufacture and installation of the fencing and gates, Procter Fencing Systems also advised the school on its choice of fencing and gates through a process of technical consultation and site survey. There was also a site meeting during which the project was discussed at length and every step explained so that the school was fully aware of exactly what would happen on site.

Procter's trained installation team dismantled and removed the existing school fencing, then undertook the necessary groundworks and installed 212m of Procter Pro-Mesh fencing. This comprises welded wire mesh panels, in this case 2m high, with a galvanised and polyester powder-coated finish; the panels are mounted on rectangular hollow section steel posts with the same long-lasting, low-maintenance finish. Two pedestrian swing gates were also installed, each with a 1.2m opening, and with the height, infill and finish to match the school fencing.

A major element of the Four Oaks project was a powered, automated, cantilevered sliding gate across the school drive. This Procter Pro-Glide Series 20 gate has a 4.5m opening and is 2m high, with mesh infill to match the fencing and a feature facia panel on which the school name and logo are highlighted in yellow. The gate also features a full set of safety features (pressure-sensitive safe edges, photocells, a warning light, etc). To avoid having to excavate a trench in which to lay a cable from the gate intercom panel to the school building, Procter Fencing Systems supplied and installed a GSM intercom phone that connects wirelessly. While installing the new gate, the company also repositioned some of the existing railings to suit the revised entrance layout.

In addition, the school decided to retain the existing rising arm barrier, with the new gate installed adjacent to it. When cars are bringing children to school and collecting them, the gate is opened and the barrier is used to control traffic. At other times of the day, during the night and at weekends, the gate is closed to provide improved security.

One of the benefits of the Procter Pro-Glide Series 20 gates is that they are designed for simple and rapid installation, which, in the case of Four Oaks Primary School, minimised disruption to the school. First, the groundworks were completed during the half-term holiday then, a week later, the pre-assembled gate was delivered and craned straight from the lorry into position (see this sliding gate video). This meant that the school day was not disrupted at all, with staff and parents having access through the gateway at either end of the school day. The gate installation and commissioning was completed within one working day - including the associated documentation - so that the school had a fully functioning, CE-marked, powered gate ready to use the next day.

Heather Sutton, Head Teacher at Four Oaks Primary School, comments: "We are more than happy with the fencing and gates. Procter Fencing Systems provided an excellent service throughout the project, with superb communications. They made sure that we knew exactly what was happening and it was clear that they were very well aware of the needs of our school. Moreover, they completed the installation without disrupting the operations of the school in any way. I would highly recommend Procter Fencing Systems - and other Head Teachers are welcome to visit Four Oaks to see the school fencing and gates for themselves."

Colin Townsend, the Building Services Supervisor, adds: "Ofsted insisted that we needed to improve perimeter security, even though the risks here are low compared with many other schools. The new school fencing and gates certainly meet their requirements and have had the added benefit of keeping out skateboarders.

"Before awarding the contract we got three quotes. One supplier could not offer a suitable gate, and the other two quotes were very close. However, Procter Fencing Systems was very responsive and efficient, which gave us the confidence to award them the contract. I have no doubt that we made the right choice, as the standard of service continued to be excellent, with good communications and a very helpful site meeting in which we discussed the installation procedure and the safety issues relating to powered gates."

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