Bangor Academy & Sixth Form Centre and Nendrum College

South Eastern Education & Library Board

Client: South Eastern Education & Library Board

Completion: September 2008

Value: £33.9m

Project Summary

These two new build schools were secured in tandem as winners of a PFI design competition which highly commended our designs for their educational and contextual response to difficult sites. Bangor Academy is the larger of the two schools at 19,500m2 and is the amalgamation of Bangor Girls High School and Gransha High School to form this new school with a full complement of teaching suites for 1650 pupils. Located in the centre of Bangor its 3-storey sweeping entrance has become a landmark whilst its clever split-level design optimised a restricted site by resolving an 8m level difference.

Nendrum College is a smaller 3-storey co-education school catering for 450 pupils aged 11-16yrs. Designed and delivered on the exiting site, whilst the original school remained operational, the final solution utilised the site area and shape to provide the optimum mix of external plays areas and sports pitches whilst also mitigating flood plain issues. In addition, we adopted a “school in the community ethos” by integrating a Community Youth Wing into the design which is accessible in the evenings and weekends.


Optimising the “school in the community” ethos were big design influencers on these successful PFI schemes. It was the added value factor which the Education Authority highlighted as the winning formula to these PFI bids. Benefits we provided include:

  • Successful amalgamation of 2 aging schools on a reduced site footprint freed land for development and provided more efficient teaching outputs
  • Clear separation and secure access to Internal & External Sports facilities for adoption and use by local community sports clubs after school hours or at weekends
  • Integration of Community Youth Club at Nendrum College provided additional social space for pupils during the day whilst providing a youth facility in the evening with use of the adjoining sports hall
  • Achieved BREEAM Very Good on both schools thus improving their energy efficiency and carbon footprint. Future proofing for BREEAM Excellent was pre-planned and strategy agreed for adoption when funding would be available

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