The Grange School Runcorn

01 June 2013

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The Grange School, Runcorn is a new generation “all through” school constructed between 2012-2013 as part of the governments Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

The architectural concept for the school was to create a central entrance area or hub with four spokes radiating outward. The four spokes would house secondary, junior, infant and nursery pupils aged 3-16 years. Clearly the hub would form the visual focal point of the building and was designed to reflect it’s importance as the centre of school activity.

 This involved the use of glass reinforced concrete cladding in 600mm wide modules each with a concaved faced and tapered flange return allowing the panels to curve around the hub’s radius. The selection of GRC allowed the architects to benefit from the solidity of architectural precast concrete whilst eliminating the consequential weight of deep solid concrete cladding.

Soon after appointment the main contractor involved GRCUK and joint venture partners Irvine Whitlock to develop the GRC concept. In order to reduce installation costs panels were rationalised into 600, 1200 and 1800mm widths, the larger panels being curved on plan, effectively creating a double curvature within the element. These were manufactured in resin moulds fabricated in GRCUK’s main pattern and mould shop.

The building was completed on schedule in Spring 2013 with all concerned delighted with the finished appearance.






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