York High School

Building Use

Secondary school extension

Project Duration

24 weeks

Procurement Method


Why buy from Portakabin

Project Features

  • Seven general classrooms
  • Four language laboratories
  • Science laboratory
  • Dining and social facilities
  • Offices
  • Behaviour management rooms
  • Hygiene suite
  • Toilets for staff and pupils
  1. The Requirements

    As York’s newest secondary school, York High School needed a highly sustainable building to extend the site of the former Oaklands School, and create a new, larger campus following the merger of two schools.

  2. The Solution

    A £10m contract was awarded to Clugston Construction to extend the campus. Portakabin was appointed to construct a £2m building using its off-site Portakabin Design and Build solution.

    This new building comprised 52 steel-framed modules in two sizes, which were craned into position in just six days, reducing disruption and time on site by around 50 per cent.

    Completed in only six months, the new two-storey 1,900m2 scheme replaced a number of older buildings with state-of-the-art facilities, accommodating the Communications faculty for English and Modern Languages, and the Inclusion faculty. Alan Thomas, Architect at City of York Council, says: “The use of off-site construction gave us certainty of completion on time despite the challenging programme for the whole campus, and it allowed us to take this building off the critical path. It reduced time on site and disruption, allowing the adjacent sports centre to remain fully operational throughout the construction programme and ensuring the safety of the general public.”

The building incorporates seven general classrooms, four language laboratories, a science laboratory, dining and social facilities, offices, behaviour-management rooms, a hygiene suite and toilets.

Architectural features include a barrel-vaulted roof with central light wells, an impressive oversailing entrance canopy roof and a range of external claddings, with metal rainscreen panels to the upper floor.

The building features a number of sustainable elements to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and running costs. These include biomass heating, passive ventilation, rainwater harvesting and the use of light wells and extensive glazing to reduce the reliance on artificial lighting.

Teaching staff and pupils genuinely love this building. It is spacious and light, with wide corridors for ease of circulation. The external appearance is excellent. It makes a positive statement for the school and sits well with the existing adjacent sports centre – and the canopy brings both buildings together.

David Ellis, Head Teacher, York High School

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