The Hyndburn Academy
Hyndburn Academy in Lancashire was one of 239 schools in the UK to benefit from the Government’s ten-year School Rebuilding Programme. Designed to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and replace old facilities with modern, net-zero offerings, the £1.8 billion fund was split accordingly to help schools invest in solutions.
Hyndburn Academy had various issues with its old buildings, including being hard to heat and cool, providing poor defence to weather conditions, and not being adequately configured for the number of students attending.
The Government programme has a key focus on ‘modern, energy-efficient designs’, so it made sense to carry this vision into other areas of the school that needed improvement, including the perimeter fencing.
The school front is closely located to rows of terraced houses and the school car park and road was demarcated by short height metal railings painted black in colour. Some of the perimeter railings had fallen into disrepair. Some pales had bends and posts were leaning but the biggest concern was the flaking paint and rusting causing not only an unsightly perimeter but a hazard to the public as sharp pieces of rust were protruding from the fence.
Various entrance points for different class groups were situated across the site, mostly consisting of narrow single leaf gates or simply gaps in the fence to allow access. To improve pedestrian traffic flow and accessibility for wheelchair users, increase security, and upgrade the appearance of the school perimeter, a number of new gates and a small amount of new fencing was required.
To be mindful of the budget - which needed to stretch to other areas of improvement - while also being more sustainable, some of the old areas of fencing were kept by repairing and repainting. The new fencing and gates needed to be as closely matched as possible to create a uniform boundary, but the school wanted to avoid using the same traditional flat bar railings as the existing, due to longevity and durability issues. These are common complaints with flat bar and wrought iron railings. Made from solid metal, they are more susceptible to bending than tubular steel. In addition, they either require a specialist welder to install the fencing which can be costly, or use bolts through the panel and into the post, which increases the risk of fixings being removed or coming loose, and subsequently the panels being stolen. The finish of traditional railings is also less durable; they are usually painted and this can create uneven textures and cause the paint to flake and chip over time, requiring frequent repainting and maintenance to restore the coating.
Realising the benefit of the guarantee; already being in the position of having fencing and gates deteriorate due to weathering, the contractor Westminster Building chose Jacksons to supply and install the new fencing and gates.
We installed a total of 8 gates. Our Barbican Imperial railing design was chosen to closely match the existing fencing. With welded pale-through-rail tubular construction and no visible fixings, it is extremely strong and vandal resistant. To ensure the perimeter was secure with no gaps, the new gates were installed behind the existing fence posts. By completing the installation in this way, the academy has future-proofed the installation if any additional replacements need to be made. The fencing and gates are hot dip galvanised and polyester powder coated black, and supplied with a 25 year guarantee against rust and manufacturing defects.