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The Boulevard Academy - New Build Extension

Work has begun on a £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

November has marked the Boulevard extension rising out of the ground with the forming of the first section of the steel framework. The project team has set up fantastic welfare facilities and has an ‘open engagement’ philosophy to support our construction workers directly on-site. We’re also looking to work more closely with the school and the local community to inform, listen and educate.

Our engagement started by inviting a group of year nine students from the Boulevard academy to participate in a creative workshop to celebrate the commencement of steelworks to their new school extension.

Mark Swallow, a Senior Lecturer in Construction Project Management at Sheffield Hallam University joined our team for the morning to present a Virtual Reality experience, which allowed students to try out the VR equipment and see a visual of what the new extension is going to look like within a virtual world.

The VR application is a new technology being used in construction to facilitate discussions around safety and logistics during site planning, and it certainly raised a lot of excitement amongst students!

The construction industry has a vast scope for the use of digital technologies to become embedded within many of the different work elements that make up the industry.  If you would like to know more, please get in touch with the Boulevard Extension project team. 

The Boulevard Academy famously occupies the Hull FC’s former ground and so it was only fitting for the VR session to culminate in Hull FC players, Charlie Severs and Davy Litten, surprising the students and performing a “steel kick” over the steel frame ‘bars’ to mark the occasion.  

As a secondary school, we have a slightly older collection of students to engage with, and so we knew we wanted to do something that would really resonate and spark their interest in a more unique way. Paying homage and scoring a final try over the extension steel marks 114 years of Rugby League right under our feet. 

Cllr Hale and Cllr McMurray also had a positive initial visit to the construction site in mid-November and we look forward to their return in the new year.

Over the next two weeks

Our works will be progressing in succession, encompassing the scaffolding edge protection, metal decking, and the ground floor slab in the coming months. The metal decking and subsequent reinforcement will be fixed onto the steel frame upper floors and hold the concrete that will make up both the first and second floors. The ground floor slab design also uses steel mesh reinforcement, and in addition the upper floors will be insulated and damp proofed.

Our groundworks contractor – BDS –  shall be continuing to waterproof seal the steel columns to where they sit below the ground floor slab – using a BlackJack Damp proof membrane (a rubber-enriched bitumen emulsion). This will be followed by the application of grout to the steel column base plates to lock the bolts into position. The ground floor will incorporate a damp proof membrane, insulation, and steel reinforcement to gain the strength necessary to hold the base of the structure in place. Ongoing construction of the timber shutter surround will run parallel to the steel column and ground preparations in readiness to pour the first of three parts of the ground floor concrete slab.

We will be receiving the roof metal decking delivery before the Christmas break and are looking forward to seeing roofing works commence at the beginning of the new year!

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