CREATING an environment that is conducive to academic attainment and enables educators to do their job would get top marks from any organisation. But Vergo UK went straight to the top of the class when they refurbished a new college with time to spare before term started!
Elliot Hudson College is run by the The GORSE Academies Trust (TGAT) and is in Leeds inner city. Newly opened as a College in 2015 the Trust planned a two stage opening with Year 12 students joining in 2015 and the second year entry the following year into a split site building.
Working with David Yeadon Ltd they put out a tender for furniture citing design, timeliness and costs as three key criteria. The Trust was very clear the successful provider would be a furniture provider who could create innovative learning and business environments, deliver within a tight timeline and be within the £120,000 budget. Adding to the challenge, builders remained on site until days before the College opened leaving a narrow window of opportunity for Vergo UK to install and snag the final work.
Vergo UK Solution
During the tender process Vergo UK recognised that with tight deadlines the management team would need to visualize the building virtually. Vergo UK created a 3D impression that was more realistic than a straightforward plan. It provided a realistic feel of the finished workspace.
Elliot Hudson College wanted to take full advantage of the existing large windows which brought plenty of light into the building but could cause havoc for students at certain times of the day.
Creating 19 new classrooms and offices around the existing build meant there was a need to match furniture and because there was only one year group moving in, ensure availability of matching furniture for the following year. Vergo UK is an independent provider and is able to source equipment that was consistent with existing furniture yet would remain available to retain brand consistency.
Working in Partnership
Partnership was key to success. At all stages of the work Vergo UK remained in close contact with the main contractors, installers and designers to ensure seamless delivery, installation and fitout consistent with a high quality Six Form College.
Because construction work was ongoing, builders and their equipment were onsite while the new furniture was being delivered. Vergo UK had to project manage deliveries, to protect the furniture and timetable fitout contractors to arrive immediately after the builders left to complete the installation work in time for the start of the new term. This included timetabling the temporary removal of the front revolving door to enable furniture delivery.
Matching furniture can be challenging and Vergo UK had to source a supply that matched existing stock while ensuring that the following year’s intake would enjoy consistency of livery.
Tina Dunderdale is Director of Projects at Gorse Academy Trust. She said: “Vergo UK were working to existing designs and were under pressure to complete the works within a tight schedule. This project had a lot of challenges demanding a professional approach as well as the ability to supply good quality furniture to a learning and business environment. The Vergo UK team was very professional and courteous and a pleasure to deal with. They kept us informed of developments at all stages and delivered to our exacting demands.”
Simon Vaughan of Vergo UK said: “Elliott Hudson gave us a challenging project needing matching furniture to be installed and ready to use in a tight timeline yet requiring us to deliver and fitout while construction was still going on. We ensured they understood what the finished rooms would look like, sourced matching desks and chairs and ensured it remained in pristine condition despite having to remove a major door to get some of the new stock in.”
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