West Coventry Academy have summited a full planning application for the demolition of the existing school buildings (except the Caretaker’s House) and the construction of a replacement secondary school consisting of a three-story teaching block with a linked single-story double height sports building, the construction of a new access off Tile Hill Lane, and associated parking, external landscaping works, and outdoor sports facilitation.
West Coventry Academy is a mixed-gender secondary school in Coventry that is operated by the state. It was created in 2016 when Woodlands Academy and Tile Hill Wood School and Language College merged to form a fully inclusive comprehensive school on a 34-acre campus.
The school’s age group is 11 to 18, and it has a Pupil Advisory Number of 1,485 students, plus a sixth form. The school is part of a Post-16 consortium that “shares” the supply of certain courses in order to maintain the scope of the Post-16 bid, although a limited percentage of students go into Year 14. (for various reasons).
The school offers a standard programme as well as alternative vocational classes, some of which are offered on-site.
West Coventry Academy was chosen as one of the first 50 schools to be prioritised for renovation as part of the Department of Education’s “Campus Rebuilding Programme,” owing to the buildings’ need for reconstruction depending on condition.
Established teachers and students will occupy the planned new school building until it is completed to minimise disruption to education, allowing for the gradual removal of the old school buildings.
The site is north of Tile Hill Lane (B4101), west of Nutbrook Avenue, east of Holywell Close and Tilehurst Drive, and south of the Tile Hill Wood Nature Reserve, which wraps around the north eastern portion of the site.
West Coventry Academy is the current occupant of the building. The new school site consists of a centrally located series of 12 structures ranging in height from one to four storeys. General teaching rooms, a recreation block with a swimming pool, a library, and a gym are among the structures. A substation and the Caretaker’s house are also on the property, which would be unaffected by the proposals.
It is recommended that current students have to use the existing facilities as the new school is being built, and then the renovation of the existing school buildings can begin after the new school is complete and they will use the new buildings. As a result, there will be slight chaos in the classroom.
The structures would have a more compact footprint to the south of the property, adjacent to Tile Hill Lane, which will be the main entry point for both access and parking, according to the plan.
The new building would have a gross footprint of 3,544 square metres, compared to 8,401 square metres for the current structure.
Two primary blocks are proposed: a three-story main teaching block in the centre of the site and a connected double-height single-story sports block to the west of the teaching block. The primary school entrance and reception area will be linked by a connection between the two buildings.
The primary classroom facilities will be housed in the teaching building, with the main hall on the first level, English and Maths on the first floor, and Arts and Sciences on the first floor.
The sports centre will house a number of spaces, including the main sports hall as well as other amenities including a dance studio and a modern swimming pool. The school’s outdoor break area would be to the north of the current houses, sheltered by the two structures and next to the existing two three-courts.
The construction layout is functional, with the majority of the construction taking place on the southern half of the property, facing Tile Hill Lane, leaving the greater portion of land to the north to be used for sports pitches and open green space.
The former playing fields in the site’s far north would be preserved and left undeveloped.
A three-story classroom block and a single-story double-height sports centre are part of the new structure. The height strikes a balance between a compact footprint and a sympathetic height for the site and its surroundings.
The building’s form was created to embody the need for a small footprint, good outdoor play areas close to key internal spaces, ample natural light in all areas, and good lighting and supervision within the building and its surrounding areas.
As part of the Modern Method of Construction (MMC) Framework, the new building would use a creative panelling offsite approach. This allows for high-precision manufacturing and detailing to be carried out in a supervised and quality-assured plant environment, thus enhancing the building operation’s overall health and safety.