St Woolos Annexe Refurbishment - Small Project of the Year Commendation 2022 

Newport Norse

Small Project of the Year 2022 - Commendation
Project Overview

The principal significance of the annexe resides in its context as a curtilage building within the grounds of the listed school.

Essential refurbishment was required, including internal, work to the roof, structural alteration works and enhanced structural support.

Consulting with CADW, the design was developed to enhance the building and complement the baroque school, with interior modernization.

The project provides a multi-use educational space and has enabled the primary school to use the former dining space as an additional classroom.

The sophisticated design is attractive and reduces energy consumption to be named the first carbon neutral building commissioned by Newport City Council.

The need for a Refurbishment

St Woolos Primary was built in 1904, with the annexe building following shortly after for use as pupil toilets and a manual training centre. Since 1927, the annexe has been used as a community boxing club.

In 2018 the boxing club ceased to use the building and the annexe was left unused and deteriorating.

St Woolos Primary School’s catchment had continued to rise, pressuring the existing facilities. St Woolos Primary dining hall operated a room required as additional classroom space, to satisfy the increased pupil numbers.

NCC Education identified the requirement for Welsh Government funding to utilise the vacant annexe, releasing the dining space within the main school to be used as the required classroom.

The annexe not only provides the dining facility for the school, it is an independently located building enabling a host of necessary workshops, events and community activities with wheelchair access.

Delivery of the Project

The procurement of a contractor followed extensive design development by Norse, including architectural, mechanical and electrical design, with structural engineer consultation.

Prior to tender, all necessary design, surveys and structural reviews were carried out to include in the tenderer’s response.

Collaboration with CADW throughout the design period ensured the methods and materials to be used throughout construction were clear. Discharging of conditions were priority ahead of commencement of works and this risk was highlighted during the procurement of contractor and during pre-construction meetings


Design Development

The building was surveyed and a list of urgent refurbishment was distinguished, to prevent further deterioration and to find a way to make the building relevant to the needs of a modern primary school.


The materials and methodology for the works were included in a design and access statement, submitted to CADW for Welsh ministerial sign off. Initially, a ‘statement of special architectural or historic interest and its significance’ was issued. The principal improvements were to provide a positive impact on the school building.

The original drawings demonstrating the original beauty of the building was at the forefront of the external design. New natural slate roof coverings with 3 no. bays of rooflights followed the original design of the annexe. Minor improvements to the external elevations, included re-pointing.

Internally, the scope of works was determined by the facility requirements to free up space within the school. Internal enhancements included a new single storey enclosure within main hall to accommodate new serving kitchen and disabled W/C. Additionally, a new internal stair allowed access to the lower playground and private meeting rooms on the ground floor.

Materials and finishes were determined through open and transparent communications with the client and end user. The major outcome from the collaborative approach to the project is that we have realised the Clients wish for an outstanding building, which has resulted in much improved staff and student satisfaction.

Whilst there has been a continuous appreciation for the age and listed setting of the building, the design has incorporated both traditional, modern and innovative aspects, creating a bespoke and sustainable final product.

The replacement and renewal of the roof coverings along with the provision of 3 bays of new rooflights has helped to improve and enhance the setting of the main school building and provide a long-term future for the annexe building.

The upgrading of the existing windows and refurbishment and general decoration of the building as a whole are all considered to be significant enhancements. Upgrading the glass to slim double glazed units allowed the windows to incorporate safety glass (necessary for school use) and helped with the environmental performance of the building.

The addition of lightweight internal partitions to create enclosures for the new kitchen and stair are minimal, combining a modern ‘pod type enclosure’ whilst allowing the full extent of the roof of the hall (its principal feature) to be fully appreciated.

Innovative design work has focused on maximising the use of the annexe. The table store within the hall also provides a projector screen and neatly encloses the internal stairwell.

Whilst the building itself is almost 120 years old, the design and installation has enabled the annexe to become the first carbon neutral building within Newport City Council projects. Upgrades to the M&E, flooring, windows and roof has drastically reduced the energy consumption.

The contractor team has sustained the heritage skills and appreciation for welsh historic buildings and the requirements involved. The transparency of the work methods and scope has educated the

pupils and staff at the school and has provided the end user with a newfound appreciation for the annexe building.

Project Name St Woolos Annexe Refurbishment
Project Location Newport
Project Start Date July 2020
Practical Completion March 2021
Contract Value £585k
QS/Cost Consultant Newport Norse
Structural Engineer SMA Ltd
Electrial/Mechanical Engineer Newport Norse
Contractor TPS Construction
Building Control Newport City Council
Architect Newport Norse
Engineer Newport Norse