Gibson Primary School

West Education & Library Board

Client: West Education & Library Board

Completion: Sept 2003

Value: £2.75m

Project Summary

This highly commended 17 classroom Primary School included a stand-alone 3 classroom SEN unit fully integrated into the new school. It was delivered on the existing site of the original primary school which remained fully operational throughout the build. Innovations included:

  • Dining hall juxta-positioned with assembly hall and separated by an acoustic opening partition. This allowed both spaces to be used in unison for school plays / theatre
  • Assembly hall full suite of toilet & changing accommodation supports community use outside school hours.
  • Large glazed internal areas to provided natural light throughout the circulation spaces
  • The project follows DENI Guidelines regarding Energy Efficiency in Educational Buildings

Considered an ‘exemplar’ design scheme by the Western Education & Library Board the completed school has been regularly visited by other principals/ design teams for inspiration and ideas.


Gibson Primary School was designed and delivered on a very restricted site however by carefully shaping the design within the available space McAdams were able to deliver the solution in 2 phases as follows:

  • Phase 1 included the completion of the new school with one decant by staff and pupils over the summer vacation
  • Phase 2 included the demolition of the old school with replacement grass sports pitch. This was an additional benefit and feature beyond the facilities contained in the old school
  • The efficient 2 phase delivery strategy shortened the programme and saved money which was re-directed into school enhancements
  • The large floor to ceiling corner widows in each classroom provided a reading space for “story” telling in each classroom

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