Canopies at Green Lane Special School, Warrington

By | 11 April 2016

Over the last two years Twinfix have installed canopies on three separate occasions at Green Lane Community Special School, part of the recently established Woolston Learning Village in Holes Lane, Warrington

The initial project involved fitting a 35m long 2m wide walkway on this school, and another 32m walkway at the adjacent school on the site, both designed to provide under cover access between car drop-off and the school buildings.  Twinfix were approached by main contractor ISG Construction Ltd from Salford to design, manufacture and install these as part of their overall task to refurbish the old Woolston High School campus ready for a rather different life.

Once Green Lane School was up and running Head Teacher Paul King asked Twinfix to quote for a canopy for their second entrance and for three covered areas to be installed adjacent to neighbouring classrooms.  Once these were fitted the school staff were so delighted with them that they wanted more!

The next phase involved Twinfix sales working very closely with Paul King and his team in order to make the most of the available space. The result was that two of the three classroom canopies were extended and a fourth was installed.  Taking the advice of Twinfix salesman Nick Featherstone, they also ordered a vertical screen to run along the open side of one of the earlier canopies in order to provide weather protection.  Manufactured with 6mm solid polycarbonate, which is virtually unbreakable, this glazed panel has since gained full approval from the staff who work in this space, as they had previously found this area to be a bit of a wind tunnel.

All the canopies have aluminium frames powder coated in blue RAL 5010.  As this metal doesn’t rust in use they will keep their good looks throughout their  long life.  The roof glazing consists of Twinfix Multi-Link-Panels NF fitted with tough 25mm opal multiwall polycarbonate.  The NF denotes that these panels conform to the HSE’s recommended drop test ACR[M]001:2014, as recommended by HSG33.  Protective foam pads were fitted to each supporting post to guard the children from bumps and bangs.  Soft play surfaces  (by others) finished off each area.

Paul King explains:  “We cater for children from 3 to 18 years old.  They’re not like children in a main-stream school, they’re vulnerable and they all have special needs.  We wanted them to have covered access to the outside throughout the year and these canopies have enabled us to achieve this.  Our children have to be taught how to play and having such large, safe protected outside areas gives us the space to do this.  All the areas had to be closed off from pupils for installing the footings for the post supports and again for the actual build – but Twinfix were very accurate in the timings they gave us and they were finished within their promised time-frame. “

Twinfix are particularly proud of the way they prepare post foundations.  They make and fill the holes in the usual way, calculating the required cubic footage required for each post, and the backfill them so that the ground is level again – and safe to use.  They then leave the site for several days to allow the concrete to set before returning to remove the backfill and install the canopies on solid foundations.  This process extends the total installation time a little, but it does ensure that each canopy is permanently and safely anchored to the ground!

For ease of following the photos shown below the three phases of this project were as follows:

  1.   35m long entrance canopy/walkway
  2.   Three Classroom canopies (noted on the photos below as Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3) and another entrance cover
  3.   Extensions to canopies for Classes 1 and 2, vertical weather protection added for Class 2 canopy and installed a canopy for Class 4

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