Back to school with
Responding to the need for more
educational places in Leeds, a
new 1,000-pupil school is now
under construction in the suburb
Dixons Trinity Chapeltown plans to be
a full all-through primary and secondary
school, accommodating pupils aged
between four and 16.
Currently housed in temporary
buildings, adjacent to the work site, the
school took in its first pupils in late 2017.
It will be able to occupy its new premises
once Willmott Dixon has completed a full
fit-out in May 2020. The school expects to
have a full complement of pupils by 2023.
The new steel-framed school building
is a three-storey structure measuring
approximately 80m-long × 30m-wide and
offering 6,780m2 of floor space.
“From an early stage, it was agreed
that the school would be a steel-framed
structure,” explains Roscoe Project
Engineer Adam Tyszkiewicz.
“Steel is much faster to erect compared
to concrete, and another advantage is that
it can be fabricated offsite by professional
fabricators and delivered to site as ready to
“They can be easily assembled,
disassembled and replaced.
“And we need to remember that steel has
the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any
Construction work on this former
industrial site started in February this year.
The school building’s plot was initially
compacted and a series of 7m-deep steel
piles installed to support the building’s
Commenting on the use of steelwork for
the school, Willmott Dixon Construction
Manager Lianne Lawson says another of
the reasons steelwork was chosen, was
for its lightness as the material required
“The steelwork, along with the metal
decked flooring option, also provided
a quick programme, which allowed the
follow-on trades to get started on-site
As well as erecting the steelwork,
Billington Structures has also installed the
project’s precast lift shaft and precast stairs.
The building’s precast lift shaft offers
no stability to the steel frame and is a
freestanding structure. All of the structural
stability comes from vertical bracing,
mostly located at the gable ends and
around the lift shaft and stairwells, together
with some horizontal roof bracing.
Using a 50t-capacity mobile crane,
the steel programme was completed in
6 weeks. The largest and heaviest steel
elements were a series of 9.9m-long beams
that span the sports hall and weigh close
to 2t each.
Interestingly, the sports hall is located
on the second floor, alongside the school’s
assembly hall. The two areas are divided by
an internal non load-bearing wall.
The halls occupy the northern end of
Steelwork having the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any
construction material was one of the main reasons it was
chosen for the frame of a new school in Leeds.
The school expects
to have a full
students by 2023
Along with the
steel, Billington also
installed a precast
lift shaft and stairs