Ridge Helps West Sussex Academy Re-Open After Major Fire

17 June 2019

Ridge and Partners LLP (Ridge), an award-winning, multidiscipline property and construction consultancy, has completed works on a major construction project at a West Sussex Academy after it was destroyed by fire in 2016.

Commissioned by The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT) on behalf of The Academy, Selsey, the project included architecture, project management, structural, civil and building services engineering, cost management and CDM Principle Designer, with work undertaken across Ridge offices in London, Oxford, Reading and Birmingham offices. 

The 750-pupil Academy lost all but two blocks after the fire. As a consequence, students have been taught in temporary classrooms for the last two and a half years. The two blocks which could be salvaged were refurbished while the rest were demolished and re-built.

The new 59,000 sq. ft. Academy includes science laboratories, food technology facilities and an art room, as well as general teaching space, assembly halls and admin areas. It also has a large south-facing façade which is glazed to provide as much natural light as possible, whilst ensuring the areas remain pleasant to teach and learn in. Horizontal brise soleil were also introduced to protect the interior from solar gain and glare, as well as to unify the teaching and assembly blocks.

Soon after pupils moved back into The Academy, Selsey, the school celebrated a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted.

Lara Dennison, Partner at Ridge, said:

We’d like to extend our congratulations to everyone involved in the re-build of The Academy, Selsey, which has been a huge feat of determination to get pupils back into a permanent learning environment. Ridge was delighted to support the team at TKAT to re-design and project manage the construction of the school which we hope children and teachers alike will love for many years to come.

Tom Garfield, Headteacher at The Academy, Selsey, added:

The new school has been thoughtfully designed by Ridge to provide a more formal learning environment for its pupils, ensuring they are as well prepared for further education and the workplace as possible. We are so pleased to be back in the building and can’t thank Lara and her team enough for their support during such a challenging time.