A school in the United Kingdom that has been flooded by a river six times in the past century finally received a well-deserved new learning space.

Working with Countess Gytha Primary School in the United Kingdom, Opus has helped design, build and maintain a new school to replace its former flood stricken site and ensure the children never have wet feet again.

Since it was built in 1872, school pupils at Countess Gytha Primary School, in Queen Camel in Somerset, have repeatedly suffered from disruption due to its location on the flood plain of the River Cam.

The river has burst its banks, flooding the school six times in the past century. In December 2008, flash flooding left the school under three feet of water and meant children were taught in temporary classrooms for months after the disastrous event.

Somerset County Council recently gave the new build the thumbs up after receiving investment from the government. As part of this project, Opus were involved in providing innovative solutions for civil and structural engineering challenges. These included re-routing overhead powerlines and connecting new foul and storm services into existing services. 

The project was completed in June after an incredible 42 week construction period, with Building Information Modelling used through the build to help with the school’s life costs, and facilitate a proactive maintenance schedule for the future.

The school and our design and build teams built a great relationship during the project by focusing on the building and the educational opportunities that it would provide pupils. An important factor in the project was helping children get to know their new surroundings to ensure a positive first day back on the new premises. The children visited the school a week before its official opening, enjoying running around their new playground and field.

“Pupils, parents, staff and governors are so delighted that after so many years our replacement school has now been built. The new site offers opportunity upon opportunity; educationally these are exciting times for our youngsters!” ~ Sue English, Head Teacher at Countess Gytha.