De Lacy Academy

Department for Education (DfE)

De Lacy Academy, based in Wakefield, is a secondary school providing space for 570 pupils aged 11-16. The project will consist of a new single-story block and the demolition of two existing blocks in a live school environment.

Contract Start

November 2018

Contract Sum




The project will consist of six general classrooms, a music classroom and practice rooms, a drama studio, offices, toilets and other ancillary accommodation. Demolition will then be carried out to two buildings. Further works include new external informal play areas and reparations to the schools’ site wide communal heating system.

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The main challenges were identified through the early design stages, specifically, the layout of the music practice rooms and the new school needs to be built in a live environment. This presented issues to the schools’ critical infrastructure- the communal heating system, as the current system crosses from building to building and the two successful blocks were part of this chain. As a result, one of the first items of work included diversion of this heating system, to allow the school to continue to function during the project.

Both challenges were identified and phased out by our team through value engineering. The school was re-designed in order to place the non-occupied rooms around the practice rooms. This change occurred to reduce noise transfer between practice rooms and occupied spaces, whilst also reducing the need for an expensive box in box construction.

Key Relevant Features

  • Specialist acoustic design
  • Value engineering
  • Constrained site
  • Live school environment
  • Demolition works