Creating a new campus for local SEND pupils in Taunton
- Large central hall providing easy access for students
- Classrooms oriented North to South to avoid glare and solar gain
- Variety of external areas to complement the building
Procured through the Scape Major Works Framework, Somerset County Council’s £9m expansion of the existing Selworthy School will create a new campus for primary and secondary pupils with special educational needs/disabilities (SEND).
Built on the former St Augustine Site in Taunton, it will be known as the Hazelbrook campus and provide access to local education for up 100 children with complex SEND from Taunton and the surrounding area.
Our team have delivered the first phase of the project that sees the secondary school move to a new school building that features 10 classrooms, with three speciality teaching spaces for music and drama, STEM, and food technology. The classrooms are arranged in two wings with garden spaces in between. A large centrally located hall provides easy access for all students. On the exterior, robust brickwork is the main material, with recesses, glazing and coloured panels add further architectural interest.
A key requirement of the project was to create flexible space, as pupil needs can change year on year, so a space that can adapt is essential. The structure was designed to facilitate this by constructing a solid concrete soffit which allows hoists to be easily installed or removed anywhere on the ground floor with no remedial works to the structure required. Teaching spaces were kept to a standard shape and layout throughout were designed for general needs. Any classroom can be adapted, allowing equipment designed for a particular student or activity to move with the student to new classrooms as they progress through the school.
The inclusion of a variety of external spaces was a key part of the design, with the new school featuring an adventure play area, bike track, hard play area, sensory garden, habitat area and quiet play.
Rob Woolcock, director at Willmott Dixon:
“We are very pleased to be involved in this important project. The Council has a clear vision for the campus and we are delighted to be doing our bit, to help make their vision a reality."
The new campus is a fantastic learning environment for children from Taunton and the surrounding area, providing easier access to education.