Sectors: Build Division | Education | Schools and Colleges

Client: Halton Borough Council

Value: £2.6m

“Harry Fairclough worked alongside Halton Borough Council on the amalgamation of Fairfield Infant and Junior schools to form a new Primary. The experience and organisation of staff at all levels was exemplary, and what was a logistically challenging project was delivered successfully, and to the Council’s complete satisfaction. Their particular experience in the Education sector brought added value to the project, and Halton Borough Council would welcome the opportunity of partnering with Harry Fairclough in the future.”

Mark Prendergast, Project Manager, Halton Borough Council


Originally two separate schools, Fairfield Primary School is made up of an infants and junior school housed in two separate buildings on the same site in Widnes, with a playing field area in between.

Our brief was to increase capacity across both buildings to accommodate a greater number of pupils whilst also refurbishing the existing internal and external facilities. The works were to be carried out across two separate phases and included the provision of a temporary ‘village’ to ensure that the school could operate unhampered throughout the works.

The scope of works increased during the project and a third phase was added to provide an outside multi-use games area.


  • An extensive programme of refurbishment and new build works carried out within a ‘live’ school environment.
  • The design and construction of a high quality temporary village that meant that the school could remain operational at all times. This comprised extra classrooms, kitchen facilities and a dining/assembly hall as well as toilet facilities for pupils and staff.
  • An advisory role, supporting the client through key decisions and changes that would benefit the overall success of the project.


There were a number of variations to the scope of works throughout the duration of the project and our team adopted a flexible and proactive approach from the outset.

The original two phases increased to three as new requirements were identified and all works had to be delivered to a tight timeframe that would allow the school to stay open and operational throughout.

Whilst the project was client designed our team evolved the design, making a number of proposed changes to provide better outcomes and this meant daily liaison with the school’s Building Manager was imperative to ensure successful roll-out and the safeguarding of all users at all times.

We identified early into phase one that the proposed works would mean that the school lost half of its bathroom facilities. This was flagged early and addressed with the provision of a temporary toilet block to avoid any breach of welfare obligations by the school.

Phase one works involved building two separate extensions to the existing building, the second of which was situated in the middle of the school site with no internal access for our team. Movements and deliveries had to be co-ordinated around playtimes and other ‘safe’ times of day to overcome this logistical challenge.

Our knowledge of school prescribed safeguarding legislation put us in a strong position to provide innovative solutions and ensure that all works on site were compliant.

This proactive and knowledge-based approach allowed us to future proof the school in time for the completion of a nearby housing development that the school would serve.