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17th Jun 2022

Behind the Hoardings - Foundation Learning

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The original foundations of the Abbey School were laid in the mid 1970’s. Those foundations have gone on to provide a stable base for generations of Surrey students who needed some extra support to achieve their potential. The 2009 KS3 Abbey extension gave the school some much needed breathing space, but the new build is on a totally different scale. Nearly 50 years on from those early days and we were delighted to see the first foundations of Project 22 in place during our recent site visit.

The four classrooms and toilet area all now have their reinforced concrete foundations in place, and the exterior block work has also started. Inside the walls the ground preparation is complete and the waterproof floor membranes have been laid. Two layers of steel mesh reinforcing are placed on top of the membrane before the concrete floors are poured. These are known as slabs.

Unlike the classrooms which are block and brick built, the sports hall frame will be of steel construction. The holding down bolt sets are now all in place and can be clearly seen in the pictures. These have to be really carefully positioned so all the steel beams and uprights fit together properly.

It was interesting to watch Jacques and his team working so well together to complete tasks. As with all things in life, good communication is key, particularly on a construction site where there is heavy machinery and other potential hazards.

On the left of the school the site of the former caretaker’s bungalow has been turned into a temporary car park for use by construction workers, and a lay down area for newly delivered materials before they are moved to the main site.

With the building now officially out of the ground, Project 22 suddenly felt far more tangible for us during our visit…and from now on the only way is up!


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