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Three Rivers Academy, Hersham, Surrey

BSfN worked with Three Rivers Academy (previously Rydens Enterprise School & Sixth Form College) in Hersham, to plan and deliver a complex strategy to provide replacement school buildings without direct funding from local or central government.

The project has provided a new 1,878 place 11-18 secondary school adjacent to the redundant existing school buildings.

This new 15,000m2 state of the art school building opened its doors to staff and students in February 2018. The high-quality, spacious accommodation, including the amazing sport, drama, dance and music facilities has been designed to inspire 21st century learning and to allow students to perform at the highest level.

Watch the Three Rivers Case Study film:

The large classrooms lead from a central mall and are colour coded to faculty areas, they have high ceilings and panoramic views across either the playing fields or the front of the school. Many are dual aspect with large viewing panes to the central mall showcasing the learning. The Learning Resource Centre provides a welcoming space for the main school and a separate mezzanine floor for sixth form students to study. Meals are provided in a contemporary style café area with seating stretching down the mall.

In addition, the school facilities also include a 6-court sports hall, assembly hall, performance spaces including a studio theatre and drama workshops, together with a full-size 3G artificial pitch and a MUGA providing netball and tennis.

The £40m project was self-funded from the sale of surplus land to Bewley Homes who are developing the disposal site with 296 dwellings. The development complies with the local policy for affordable housing, providing 43% which have that designation.

The new school building has been shortlisted for several building awards. It is the only UK school to have made the shortlist for the final of the World Architecture Festival Awards in the completed schools category.

Time-lapse of the build:

Commenting on the new building, Anne-Louise Payne Head of School at Three Rivers Academy says

“We are thrilled with our new state-of-the-art school. Our vision was to create a world-class learning environment for our students, and the project team has achieved this with a building that is designed for students’ present and future needs, and that is very much not a standard specification building. This has resulted in a professional, safe accessible and inclusive environment for our staff, students and the wider community”.