News Building Contractor Completes Centre Help Autistic Children Fulfil School Potential

Richardson & Peat has completed the building of the Cullum Centre at Rodborough School in Surrey which will give students on the autism spectrum specialist support to reach their potential in a mainstream school.

Appointed by the National Autistic Society (NAS) who managed the Rodborough School project on behalf of the Cullum Family Trust, Richardson & Peat constructed the single storey building in Godalming, which is one of three centres of its kind to be delivered by the contractor.

Built on a 483m2 area of land and designed by architect Mark Ellerby, the timber framed centre is designed for autistic children and incorporates a ‘school feel’ and was completed during term time.

The £875.000 project, which was completed in six months and without disruption to lessons, also includes a connecting lobby.

Among the challenges was providing good levels of natural daylight whilst ensuring minimum window views for children to avoid distraction. Richardson & Peat’s solution was to install high ceilings throughout the centre and position the windows at a similar level. They also installed curved walls throughout the building as the safety of autistic students was a key component of its structure. Break out spaces, a teaching kitchen and areas affording good acoustic levels were also created to help raise performance levels of children.

Matthew Armstrong- Harris, headteacher at Rodborough, said: “The centre is developing as a calm and purposeful addition to the school and is allowing us to start developing different and innovative approaches to fully support the learning of pupils with specific needs.”

Martin Peat, commercial director for Richardson & Peat, said: “Projects such as these are incredibly satisfying to complete as the building will help autistic children integrate into mainstream school. The building has a number of unique features such as curved walls, but with our experience in these types of projects these challenges were easily overcome.”

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