Ravensdale Infant & Nursery School

Constructing Excellence

In October 2020, Ravensdale Infant and Nursery School was destroyed in a devastating arson attack. Overnight, 296 school children were displaced, and an emergency project team was assembled.

Derby City Council appointed Lungfish Architects and Morgan Sindall to assist with the demolition, design and rebuild of the school in the shortest timeframe possible, ensuring minimal disruption to the education of pupils. Having previously delivered four modular schools for the Council, Lungfish’s experience and expertise informed the solution: a standardised modular design, utilising offsite construction and maximising pre-manufactured value, generating enough efficiency to deliver the project within programme and budget.

With Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) ingrained at its core, the recovery plan had four overlapping phases. The first saw the demolition of the fire-damaged school and temporary modular classroom arrangements installed onsite, with the assistance of a collaborative cross-Council network, allowing for a partial return to the school while further accommodations were arranged at neighbouring schools. The last phase was designing and constructing a new Ravensdale School, reuniting the pupils, and creating an inspiring and safe learning environment for the future.

Value for money was derived from every aspect of the design having to be verified by the insurers, with the £6.9m scheme requiring certification from a financial perspective. Key to this was taking a creative approach to the design, looking closely at every detail to identify efficiencies that would make room for better learning. Reconfiguring the layout and shape of the school building utilised resources, service and access routes, topography, and location, making the whole site more efficient. Maximising the layout and sitting directly on top of the former site, the building footprint increased by 300m², modernising the school and bringing it in line with the Department for Education’s benchmark for a three-form entry nursery and infant school.

Through shared commitment to get the school community back together, Ravensdale reopened its doors on time and within budget- 596 days after the fire, comprising of 58 pre-fabricated modules installed within two weeks.

Three Winning Facts:
  1. Planning submitted within six weeks of fire.
  2. £1.6m+ social value generation.
  3. New school constructed within 45 weeks.