Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Building

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Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Building in Hampshire

Location: Bordon, Hampshire, England, UK

Design: HCC (Hampshire County Council) Architects

Construction of the new 900-place secondary school for Mill Chase Academy in Bordon is starting onsite following Hampshire County Council’s appointment of Kier as the contractor to build the facility.

Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Building
image : Darcstudio

The existing Mill Chase Academy is a successful secondary school located on the eastern fringes of the former garrison town of Whitehill and Bordon, East Hampshire. Since the planned departure of the MOD in 2015, proposals have been developed for the relocation of the town centre, and with it the Mill Chase Academy, to a more central location to enhance the quality of place and regeneration of the town.

Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Building in Hampshire
images courtesy of HCC Architects

Hampshire County Council Architects have worked closely with HCC’s Childrens Services, as the local education authority, the existing Mill Chase Academy, the University of Chichester Academy Trust and the Education and Skills Funding Agency to develop the proposed school plans. The County Council is investing £10 million towards the total cost of building the new school facility. The balance of the funding includes contributions from the Whitehall and Bordon Regeneration Company, Homes and Communities Agency, East Hampshire District Council and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Building model

Responding to the mature woodland context and generally flat site, the school has been designed as a rational, collegiate campus with four separate buildings ordered to create a central courtyard that is intended to act as a social and teaching hub for the school’s community. This collection of buildings consists of two teaching wings to the north and south with the larger volume sports and assembly/performance halls in between the wings to form the courtyard. This configuration provides excellent external teaching spaces, assembly, dining and performance spaces shaded with external canopy structures.

The proposed use of covered external circulation spaces both reduce internal floor area and, at a day-to-day level, ensure that students and teachers get a breath of fresh air between classes. They are also, more philosophically, redolent of the tradition of a building encircling space that has both purpose and meaning for the people or community, this case school, it houses- whether this be in the cloisters or quads of academic institutions or the market places of Hampshire towns.

Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Building model

The southern teaching building provides the principal elevation onto Budds Lane and is set back from the tree line to create a welcoming new pedestrian friendly school entrance. A brick colonnade leads towards a cut-through entrance which takes you into a central courtyard at the heart of the school. The Hampshire red stock brick, used throughout, echoes the finely proportioned garrison buildings located across the town. The brickwork is part of a modest palette of cladding materials including with dark aluminum framed curtain walling with translucent, transparent and back-painted glazing.

The wider site has been designed and configured to meet the challenging requirements of a contemporary 900 place secondary school but, also, the community of Whitehill and Bordon. Extensive consultation with proposed user groups together with Sport England devised a diverse brief of facilities that will enable year round use as part of the Healthy Living Masterplan for the town development.

Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Building model

As a public authority, Hampshire follows as far as possible, a best practice approach to sustainable design without necessarily following a structured BREEAM or similar assessment protocol. The Mill Chase project adopts a low energy, fabric first strategy offering good views in and out to the historic Woolmer forest site context with a large array of solar pv panels, located to the southern teaching wing’s roof, providing 10% of the school’s energy requirements.

The raison d’etre of the in-house team of architects, interior designers, landscape architects and engineers at Hampshire County Council is to create public buildings and places of high architectural and functional quality within the challenging funding constraints of the public purse. The proposals for Mill Chase have adopted these principles and will, once constructed, create a modern and cohesive learning environment for the children of Whitehill and Bordon and a Gateway community building for the new town.

Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Building model

The design of the project has been developed and presented at various stages with mixed media including; hand drawing and sketches, 2D CAD drawings, 3D SketchUp modelling, physical models, Revit BIM modelling and Virtual Reality (VR) images.

Website: Mill Chase Academy Building VR images

The VR images were tested at a public consultation and also as part of the planning process with the regulatory planning committee members, who were able to visualise the scheme during a site visit. The images enabled the design team and key stakeholders to fully engage and understand the three-dimensional nature of the key spaces including the front elevation and central courtyard.

Planning Approval gained June 2017. Construction starts on site late January 2018 and is due to be completed for a school opening in September 2019. Budget: £29.84m.

Mill Chase Academy Secondary School ground floor plan

Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Hampshire – Building Information

Mill Chase Academy 6FE Secondary School

Location: Mill Chase Academy, Budds Lane, Whitehill and Bordon, East Hampshire

Type of Project: Education (new secondary school, re-located from existing site)
Client: HCC Children’s Services
Contact: Peter Colenutt, Head of Strategic Development
Martin Shefferd, Strategic Development Officer – [email protected]

Architect: Hampshire County Council Property Services
Contact: Liam Presley, Design Manager – [email protected]
Keith Evans, Senior Architect – [email protected]
HCC Property Services, Three Minsters House, 76 High Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8UL

Landscape: Hampshire County Council Property Services
Structural Engineers: Hampshire County Council Property Services
Interior Design: Hampshire County Council Property Services
MEP Engineers: Hampshire County Council Property Services
Quantity surveyor: Hampshire County Council Property Services
Principle Designer: Hampshire County Council Property Services
Civil Engineers: Hampshire County Council Engineering Consultancy

Main contractor: Kier Construction – David Timms, Preconstruction Manager, Southern Delivery Unit

Selected Subcontractors and Suppliers: TBC

Contract Value: £29.84 million
Funding: HCC Capital Programme
Tender date: July – September 2017
Start on site date: November 2017
Completion date: September 2019
Contract duration: 18 Months
Gross internal floor area: 7796m2
Contract and /
or procurement: Traditional / 2 stage Framework
Air tightness level: 5
Any specific environmental
Targets e.g. Passivhaus,
BREEAM, C4SH: Following the principles of BREEAM with a fabric first low energy sustainable approach. Working closely with the National Energy Foundation and EHDC to follow the Assured Performance Process
Planning reference: Application No: 57112

Mill Chase Academy Secondary School Building images / information from HCC (Hampshire County Council) Architects

Hampshire County Architects

Address: Mill Chase Road, Bordon, Hampshire, GU35 0ER, England

Website: Mill Chase Academy in Bordon