Shortlisted for the RICS 2019 Community Benefit Award, Hexham Priory SEN School provides essential educational and mental support for children with additional needs. Northumberland County Council have recognised the increase in number of children who require this support and have commissioned a 24 pupil extension on site, to allow the school to further its provisions for children who require them.
The new extension uses the material palette of the existing building to retain a consistent exterior visual, whilst also providing an additional three classrooms and associated ancillary spaces to cater for the pupil increase. These facilities have been designed in alignment with BB102 guidelines for disabled children and children with SEN. A reconfiguration of the existing building also provides a new welcome space to the extension, this area maintains the current use and efficiency of the building as well as providing a seamless integration into the new building.
Learning space at the site has also been increased by the creation of a high-quality Sixth form provision which includes an inter-connecting sixth form common room capable of adapting to different teaching methods and pedagogy as a continuation of the existing fabric.
Through consultation with the school, the internal arrangement of the build is designed to greatly enhance the accessibility and lighting provisions of the new spatial composition. The layout is seamlessly connected via clear corridors between the new classrooms and toilet provisions are positioned to meet the needs of the expanded pupil allocation. The entirety of the internal reconfiguration is also well lit by the use of visibility screens between corridors and offices as well as the installation of roof lights to obtain maximum natural light.