MAJOR construction work is taking place at a private school in Oxfordshire.

Beard Construction has been appointed to build a new ‘Pavilion Dining Room’ and two new boarding houses at Abingdon School in Park Road as well as the refurbishment of two existing boarding houses

The company, which has an office in Oxford, started work last year on the project and is due to finish by the summer.

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Building on the success of that on-going work, the Pavilion Dining Room project began in late summer last year and is due to be completed by autumn.

The new boarding houses will attach to the existing accommodation buildings. They will provide accommodation for 130 boarders, increasing the current capacity of boarding pupils by 20.

The houses will locate all of the school’s house facilities together in new or refurbished accommodation, allowing for two other houses to be repurposed by the school.

The new buildings – a mixture of two and three-storeys - will provide boarding accommodation in single and double rooms, including two new accessible bedrooms, with shared shower-rooms, toilets and lounge rooms.

The refurbished buildings, one of which is Grade II listed and dates back to 1779, will be re-configured to provide a new social room, as well as a study room and library, music practice room and laundry and drying room.

The materials for the build have been carefully chosen to be sympathetic to other school structures.

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The new buildings will have as small a carbon footprint as possible, with electrical power supplemented by solar panelling and underfloor heating fed by air source heat pumps.

Beard’s Oxford director Dean Averies said: “We are proud to be working again with Abingdon School.

“One of our key values is to create high-quality spaces which matter to people and these buildings will be more than new school boarding houses, they will become a home-from-home to hundreds of young people over the years to come.

“We will call upon our expertise in this sector to ensure that combining existing buildings with new builds on a working school site can be carried out with the minimum of disruption.”

Martin McKenna, director of estates at Abingdon School, said: “At Abingdon, we are passionate about ensuring that our students and staff have up-to-date, modern, flexible and ‘fit-for-purpose’ facilities that really help them succeed academically and support them pastorally in the modern world.

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“Beard has helped us achieve part of this strategic vision in the past with the creation of our sports centre. We know they understand the complexities of developing within a fully operational school environment, whilst ensuring that the highest construction standards are met in ways which are sustainably sound.

“So, when it came to engaging a contractor, we were confident Beard fully understood our requirements and would meet them accordingly.”


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

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