Case Study - Wates, Discovery Academy

  • Education

McDermotts were awarded the groundworks package for the new £20m Discovery Academy in Stoke on Trent for Wates Group.


Discovery Academy is one of 18 school projects in Stoke-on-Trent’s £250m Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. The new-build Academy will provide space for up to 1200 pupils aged 11-16 and is to be built on the footprint of the existing Edensor High School & Technology College and Mitchell High School.

McDermotts began on site on the 3rd January 2012 tasked with completing the drainage, foundations and construction of sport pitches. The next phases of the project include the 278 works, external works, substation, sprinkler tanks and bin stores in preparation for the April 2013 completion date.

Due to poor weather conditions the existing fill material to the main building footprint became saturated and as a result was no longer fit for purpose. McDermotts proposed a solution to the client and with their approval excavated a borrow pit from an adjacent future sports pitch.  Clean and dry materials were stored here and the remaining saturated excavation materials from the building were placed in a borrow pit to dry out over time.

On site, McDermotts have gained the title of ‘Number One Safety Performer’ having consistently achieved the highest scores on the monthly Subcontractor Performance Matrix. Most impressively, McDermotts have retained this title since the site team began work in January. We recognise that to continue to achieve this standard we must focus on all areas of the construction to ensure this project is on time and on budget.

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