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CLASSROOM DISRUPTION caused by noisy construction work could lead to financial penalties for contractors at Pimlico School in London, Westminster Council said last week.

The council wants fines for excessive construction noise to be included in the 35 year concession to design, build, finance and operate a new school at the site.

Preferred bidder for the project St George's Square Partnership is to submit a planning application later this month.

SGSP is a consortium comprising Kier, Costain, facilities management contractor Maintenance & Facilities Management and house builder Berkeley.

Space at the school is extremely limited so work will involve demolishing and rebuilding it in phases with staff and pupils moved into temporary accommodation elsewhere on the site. Major demolition work will be scheduled for school holidays to minimise disruption.

The consortium also plans to erect a temporary 10m high 'environmental barrier' around construction work to shield classrooms from noise and stop pupils from getting into the site.

Noisy machinery will also be surrounded by soundproof shields and fitted with powerful silencers.

Westminster has decided to rebuild the school as refurbishment would have been too disruptive. Pimlico School's buildings date back to the early 1970s and suffer from overheating in the summer because the heavily glazed structures have poor ventilation. The school's capacity will increase from 1,350 to 1,400.

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