Grange Special School and Residential Unit

Project name: Grange SEN School
|| Location: Manchester

|| Description: Willmott Dixon have constructed a new school for primary and secondary educational needs in Manchester

|| Architect: Ellis Williams
|| Main Contractor: Willmott Dixon
|| Structural Engineer: GCM
|| Mechanical & electrical engineer: Smith Group

Built under the Manchester Building Schools for the Future Wave 4 Programme, Grange School is a new build Special Education Needs School for children aged four to nineteen years old with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. These new facilities have enabled Grange School to increase their places from 80 to 150. The new facility also enabled Grange to provide much needed residential care and short break provision for up to 20 children. In addition the inclusion of conference, training and specialist therapy facilities now allows Grange to provide support to children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions across Manchester.

The design incorporates a number of features appropriate to the education of pupils with ASC, such as clear ordered design, non-reflective surfaces, non-flickering lights and a good acoustic control. There are clear zoning of areas with obvious pointers to identify which activities take place in particular areas and spaces that encourage children to make choices about playing and communicating with others.

All feedback from both the client and school has been very positive. The school in particular are pleased with the result and have said the children enjoy being in the new building.Due the specific nature of this building plus the wide range of issues and ages, this building can easily be defined as ‘one of its kind’. As such the brief for the scheme was written from scratch by MCC and the school. Experience was drawn from other examples around the country for certain areas of the school.

Awards: BCSE Excellence in Design for Teaching and Learning, SEN Highly Commended