Our Work


A Swift School Solution

Project Update

December 2023

Restoring Hope: Delivering a Swift Solution for SS Simon & Jude CE Primary School...

Portable Offices has provided a rapid response with an extensive education solution with a range of temporary education accommodation to enable SS Simon & Jude CE Primary School in Great Lever, Bolton to reopen to pupils on 12th December.

The school is reopening following a period of intensive adaptation involving the establishment of a range of temporary classrooms and related buildings due to the loss of almost all their facilities during a devastating fire in August.

Once the fire was extinguished, the immediate priority of the school was to have face-to-face teaching established as quickly as possible and to keep the 554 pupils within their local community.

As a result, alternative buildings to accommodate pupils, including the early years education unit, was an urgent requirement. Portable buildings provider, Portable Offices, stepped in promptly with a plan – organising a range of portable primary classrooms, early years spaces, toilets and washrooms, offices, and canteen facilities to be sited on the adjacent playing field.

Portable Offices has extensive experience in disaster recovery and Manager, Ian Smith exemplified this commitment by empathetically working with the school to learn of their requirements and initiate a thorough disaster recovery plan.

This involved identifying appropriate buildings within the company’s depots’ stock and immediately prepping buildings from four of their depots around the country which were delivered within five weeks from the time of ordering.

A total of 73 buildings were delivered to site which included 69 modular sections.

Ian Smith, said: “We are accustomed to responding quickly to disaster recovery contracts and were able to pull out all of the stops to get a range of buildings to site in just five weeks.

“Groundworks on the playing field were prepared in record time and we had seven and half days of solid cranage rolling out.

“At one point, we had a team of around 30 people on site literally all working closely as a team to bring the project to fruition.”

“The greatest challenge was one of logistics – we had to create a new access road to the site up a steady incline and worked closely with ground workers and the end user, solving problems as they occurred.”

The buildings will be ready for handover to school staff on 11 December.

The School Principal said: “The portables are an excellent temporary alternative provision to our original building, and we are looking forward to welcoming the pupils back.”

Trust CEO, Jill Albertina said: “Huge thanks to the whole team working on our education village. Everyone has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting the educational journey of our children.

“We are excited about the opening of our village, it is wonderful to bring pupils, staff, and families back together, within such a short space of time, following the devastating fire. Our community coming together really has made the impossible possible— truly living the trust value of ‘not setting a limit on what is possible for ourselves, for one another and for our community.”

The playing field will be returned to its existing use once the school is rebuilt, which will take approximately three years.

Portable Offices remains dedicated to providing progress updates and maintaining transparent communication throughout the rebuilding phase.

In the face of adversity, everyone has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to supporting the educational journey of the children at SS Simon & Jude CE Primary School.

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