Academy project marks new sector for Powell Williams
The advent of the government's academy programme has opened a
new market sector for building consultancies. Powell Williams has
recently completed its first high school academy project, an
acquisition survey for Stratford upon Avon School. The team
identified a range of services which will need to be considered
including the development of a planned programme of maintenance and
implementation of improvement works.
Michael Clarke the Schools Facilities Manager,
said: "It was necessary that the school, prior to its successful
Academy conversion in August 2011, had an independent survey
carried out to identify short to long term property liabilities.
This is important because, as an Academy and therefore independent
of the local authority, we need to take such matters into account
in order that we can make the sound strategic decisions necessary
to implement our planned maintenance programmes, and direct
appropriate funds accordingly."
The transfer of responsibilities from local authorities to the
individual academy trusts will make it vital for all such schools
to commission their own, independent reports, says Michael Jones,
Powell Williams lead partner in Birmingham. He said:
"For most schools, their building maintenance is looked after by
the local authority which holds responsibility for the estate and
the budget. Under the academy programme the school's board and
trustees take over responsibility for the properties themselves and
the budgets they require.
"As specialists in education rather than property management, it
will be important for these organisations to approach their
building requirements with a much more commercial eye. The school
building will become an academy's most valuable and costly asset
and will demand careful management to ensure it does not become a
liability. Having worked closely with Stratford upon Avon School
prior to its conversion to an academy has given us an insight into
the particular requirements of this sector."
For more information on this project or to speak to a surveyor
about your Academy please contact Michael Jones on
0121 486 2657.