Latest stage of long term refurbishment & maintenance programme
Southern Maintenance Solutions, (SMS) has continued its relationship with the Gold Rose Trust Academy in Cippenham, by undertaking the upgrade of both the girls’ and boy’s toilet blocks. The company has been providing comprehensive maintenance services to the academy’s schools for over 20 years. Ruth Mainwaring, Premises Manager, at Gold Rose MAT, explains more about the latest project; “Both the washrooms required a complete refurbishment and the summer holiday is the ideal time for us to schedule projects of this nature.”
“This was a fairly straightforward project but we were delighted to maintain our relationship with the Academy;” said Martyn Neves, Operations Manager at SMS. “It is obviously much easier and safer if we can undertake this type of work during the holiday period.”
Both toilet blocks were completely stripped of the old fittings, flooring and tiling. These have been replaced with closed couple toilets, double vanity units with non- concussive taps and mirrors above. The boys’ block was also fitted with a 1200mm urinal trough complete with a new cistern and battery operated infrared cistermiser. Old tiles have been replaced with white gloss plastic panelling to a height of 1 meter, which is far easier to keep clean. The final stage of the refurbishment, which took a month to complete, was to paint all the remaining wall and ceiling areas and to fit new LED light fittings. The company also installed a new 120 litre direct unvented cylinder and the necessary pipework to replace an old, inefficient water heater that had been servicing the toilet blocks.
Martyn Neves, expands on other recent projects that SMS has completed for the Academy; “In 2018 we were involved in the refurbishment of the Foundation stage classrooms, which were being heated with a very inefficient, bottled gas, heater system. At the same time a building on the primary school site, which contained several, still serviceable A/C units, was being demolished. With careful planning, we were able to remove these units and reinstall them in the newly refurbished Foundation classrooms. Not only did this save the school money, but is has ensured a much better environment for early years learning.” SMS also undertook the replacement of the Primary School’s boilers which was financed using Salix funding, the funding programme designed to help schools reduce energy costs through the installation of energy efficiency technologies.
With headteachers facing so many demands on their time and budgets, efficient and effective facilities management is a vital, but often unfamiliar area of their remit. Many, including Gold Rose MAT take the decision to give this aspect of school management to another member of the senior management team, who is then able to manage the day to day activity and respond to the inevitable unexpected incidents. “Some of our systems are old and over the years have developed all sorts of problems. I have complete confidence in SMS and their engineers, and never worry about asking for advice or help. Efficient management of the business function and facilities frees up our senior academy team to focus on the learning;” said Ruth Mainwaring.
Southern Maintenance Solutions UK Ltd was founded in 1995 and since then has established itself as one of the leading providers of commercial heating, cooling and air handling installation and maintenance services in South East England. It has had success in both the private and state education sectors, but also has long standing maintenance agreements with a range of commercial property managers for premises including various places of worship, modern gym facilities and office/manufacturing buildings.
In addition to its core activities, engineers at the company are also qualified to handle the installation and maintenance of a range of complimentary systems including electrical systems, water treatment, commercial kitchens and commercial pipework installation. The company recognises the need to invest in its staff and currently has three apprentices working towards industry recognised qualifications.