Our Lady of the Visitation Catholic Primary School

Client: Governors of Our Lady of the Visitation Catholic Primary School / Diocese of Westminster

Project value: £1,565,000

Completion: August 2006

The foundation stone for the original school was laid in 1939, when a school for 300 pupils was planned.  The war saw an alternative use of the brand new building as a British restaurant and central kitchen.  The school eventually opened on 10th September 1946 with 218 children on roll.  The school roll has steadily increased with extensions added in 1956, 1959, 1960 and 1974.  The piecemeal extension of the original building left subsequent users with significant suitability problems, which became more acute as teaching methods and requirements changed.

DHP have been working at the school, since 1998 and had produced a development plan which addressed the chronic lack of staff and teaching space, poor circulation throughout, the undefined and unwelcoming main entrance and the general poor condition of some of the building stock.  A successful Targeted Capital Funding bid to implement the plan was secured in 2005, after some considerable lobbying of DCSF personnel.

Project delivery involved significant logistic challenges, including working within and maintaining the operational school with no temporary accommodation.  Demolition of the centre of the school was required to allow contractor access to build the significant rear extensions.

The school is now rightly proud of the new and refurbished bright, spacious accommodation.