Abbey School, Chester
The Abbey School, a private multi-million pound project, was designed to create a state-of-the-art school and accommodation based in several vacant Grade II* listed Georgian buildings, located in close proximity to Chester Cathedral and an ancient, scheduled monument and site of archaeological interest.
The works involved the refurbishment and remodelling of the listed buildings to provide an education facility for children and young people aged 4 – 19 years with exceptional and complex support needs, providing them a remarkable learning environment.
The school has a capacity for 75 pupils with associated accommodation for 30 children with special educational needs.
Jones Melling was appointed as the project’s quantity surveyors, providing commercial advice, preparing budgets as well as assisting the contract administrator on both pre-contract and post-contract duties throughout the project.
Our role involved the completion of the tender package and measurement and quantification of design information. We also attended site progress meetings and finance meetings as well as carrying out an assessment of monthly valuations and monitoring the construction phase.
The school buildings date back to 1754 and were originally town houses for the clergy, with generously sized rooms, high ceilings, wood panelling and ornate decoration.
As part of the project, the original fabric of the building and period features were carefully preserved, including the original Chinese Chippendale staircase, which is of particular historical importance, and the stained glass windows which were all retained and restored.
The construction methods used during Georgian times, including reed and lime plastering methods, were also retained and/or repaired during the refurbishment. The two listed buildings both suffered structural problems due to their age, so stringent health and safety measures were paramount onsite throughout the project.
Further refurbishment using modern materials to complement the original features, as well as installing the latest teaching technology equipment were seamlessly incorporated into the project to create a safe, accessible, stimulating and enjoyable environment for the pupils.
Working alongside contractor Read Construction, the project also included archaeologists onsite in the event that historical artefacts may have been uncovered during construction.
Jones Melling is proud to have been involved in this important project. On completion, the school opened its doors and now supports more than 70 children and young people, as well as creating over 200 jobs in the education sector within the Chester community.
Photography kindly provided by Read Construction
- Quantity Surveying
- Commercial Management
- Valuations and assessment of variations