Liverpool council plans ‘easy-to-convert’ airport-like schools

After carrying out an audit into its future direction, Liverpool City Council has announced that it will be planning to build “airport terminal-style schools”, according to a new report. Building Magazine revealed that the Sebastian James Review recommended that the local authority puts stock into the standardisation of educational buildings, and associated cost reductions will justify it.

Liverpool has four secondary schools scheduled to be built. Essentially, the review said that children should be taught in airport terminal-style structures that can easily be converted for commercial should local demographics shift in a different direction. Aecom and Davis Langdon provided cost modelling advice among other services and proposed a standardised shell that was undergirded by glulam structural beams.

Norwegian practice Biong Arkitekter was behind the design, however. It is a company that specialises in producing places such as airports and sporting arenas, Building continued. The interior can essentially be taken away from the aforementioned shell and modular units can be re-arranged quickly and cheaply. It is expected that capital receipts from the sale of land, combined with potential education department funding, will provide the £60 million necessary for the four new schools. Each will house 1,000 pupils.

“Liverpool has experienced 12 years of falling pupil numbers and now they’re building up again but in different areas,” said Building Schools for the Future project director Ron Rampling. “These models mean that if for some reason the population shifts, what you’re left with is not a duff school but a very attractive commercial space. This de-risks the investment the council puts into new schools.”




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