Decommissioning outdated Victorian buildings, while replacing them with new state-of-the-art facilities, is difficult; maintaining daily activities in temporary facilities while building work proceeds is even more so. Within one of Silcock Dawson latest remits however, it’s all in a day’s work.

A stone’s throw from the world-famous Blackpool tower, the inner city school of St John’s is a new teaching development equipped with high spec technology to match its high surrounds. Unusually, the 1,500 sq m building is multi-storey, as the site occupies a small urban area of the town.

The site also runs alongside the main route into the town, coming under Blackpool’s Talbot Gateway regeneration master plan.

The old school was tired in structure and cost and a new facility was deemed necessary by developers, the Blackburn Diocese. Commissioning Silcock Dawson to work with Manchester-based architect Aedas, the firm is providing full building services consultancy.

Key to this is developing a low energy strategy for sustainability. Implementing green initiatives such as rainwater harvesting are also within the remit.

The new facility will additionally incorporate a 16-place nursery as well as 1FE primary school. Classroom space is accommodated above the dedicated ground floor administration centre, with each teaching level having its own play-deck. The building has a large rooftop playground, providing for social and learning activities, and will support the school’s individual identity.

Integral to the £4.5 million project funded jointly by the Diocese and the Department for Education and Skills through the Targeted Capital Fund work is keeping learning at the top of the class as work on the new facility takes place.