Southway Primary School
Using architecture to create a more rounded learning experience
The new Southway Primary School combines the existing Michael Ayres Junior School and The Glade Infants School into a single establishment, as part of an improved all age learning campus in Bognor Regis. Situated adjacent to the new Regis School and the existing Arena Community Leisure facility, the campus also provides a skills centre for post 16 vocational studies and a nursery.
We were appointed to design and deliver these new buildings as part of the campus masterplan, providing facilities for 630 primary age pupils in a new two storey building. The school aspired to create a building that used internal and external spaces to provide an atmosphere of flexible learning, where children are at the centre of decision making and encouraged to partake in self initiated learning and play. Good interaction between indoors and out was essential and both schools wanted to use architecture as a tool to break down the barriers between teaching and non-teaching areas.
The new school contains 21 classrooms and learning resource areas, such as a library, IT and group room facilities located at various strategic positions around the school. These are supported by staff and ancillary spaces and there is also a large main gall, small hall and a studio space which can be opened up into one large flexible space.
The challenges of a live site
Due to the client’s desire to keep all four existing school buildings (the secondary Regis School, previously Bognor Regis Community College, was on a split site), and the other community facilities serving over 2,200 students, safely operational during the 18 month period of construction of the new schools, it was a complex construction process. Challenges were successfully overcome by our experienced team and an inspiring learning environment now stands.