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The Boulevard Academy - new build extension

Work continues on the £6 million expansion of The Boulevard Academy, which will increase capacity in response to a growing demand for places, as well as enable it to offer a range of new courses from September 2022.

The Boulevard Academy on Massey Close, west Hull welcomed its first pupils in September 2013. The school, which famously occupies the site of Hull FC’s former Boulevard ground, was initially built to accommodate 600 students aged 11 to 16. But now, as the local population grows, a three-storey extension will be built on the existing school, creating an additional 300 places for students, taking the total capacity to 900.

Progress so far

This year has kick-started with progress in abundance. The project site team with the aid of the groundworks contractor, BDS Groundworks, met a major milestone by casting one-third of the ground floor concrete slab just prior to the Winter break, this was made possible with the completion of the structural steel frame by Monkbridge earlier in December.

This has positioned us perfectly at the start of the year with a clear focus in mind, to give our extension a metal decked roof, SFS (Steel framing system) framework and cladding, and metal decking to the 1st and 2nd floors all in line with our Construction program.

Now at the back end of January, each of these packages are coming to fruition. The complete ground floor slab has been cast in concrete after receiving its polished power floated finish, and will develop into the two food-tech classrooms, music rooms, PE changing room, and activity studio. Thorough quality inspections were carried out pre-concrete pour on damp-proof membranes, steel mesh reinforcements, insulation, and drainage pop-up locations. We have incorporated a clever design in preparation for the ground floor shower recesses to receive their gulleys later in the year.

The roof has been covered by metal decking, acoustic matting, insulation, and various vapour barriers and is currently welcoming parts of its final stage covering in the form of a single-ply IKO membrane.

The second floor has also received concrete with a matching polished power floated finish to that seen on the ground floor. The first floor has just received theirs, you can watch a short time-lapse clip of them in action installing the concrete below.

SFS is creating the outer shell which delineates the perimeter of the extension building with a Cementous board finish. This enables the brickwork contractor to mount their insulation and fixing track in order to insulate the building and to tie in their facing brickwork.

We are currently at a really exciting stage in the project where the dynamic flow between design, procured commercial packages, and the site practical operations all become intrinsically active. Our Boulevard project team quantity surveyors, Pete, Jack, and Josh are working tirelessly to procure subcontractors’ packages in plenty of time for their start on site and this is certainly the most energising time for them.

Over the next two weeks

Next on the agenda is the commencement of the brickwork package, there’s a real skill to getting brickwork perfect, which is where our package with Cara brickwork comes into play. They set out the brickwork to aesthetically fit around windows and doorways with the aid of our site engineers. The brickwork has to be both level, plumb, flat, gauged, and work to half bond jointing, and also needs to be kept clean and looking its very best. The package doesn’t just include brickwork, they’ll also be fire protecting the building externally using cavity compression socks sat horizontally between every floor and vertically as specified within the fire strategy. In addition, they’ll install building movement joints, insulation, plus ground-level damp proofing. The majority of their works will be carried out from off scaffolding, which is due to commence in early February, by Elevation Scaffolding, and will incorporate two Haki staircases and four separate loading bays.

February will welcome internal partition walling and mechanical and electrical works, so our extension will become populated with internal walls defining each of the classrooms. All this and much more…

We’ll be looking forward to the Boulevard Academy School choosing students to lay the first bricks above the damp course. The lucky few will be signing the back of the bricks and installing them to leave a lasting mark on the extension building. After all, it is the students who will benefit from the extension most of all and we want them all to feel a part of this journey.

The team at work casting the concrete for the first floor...

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