A SCHOOL built in York as part of the emergency response to the Grenfell Tower disaster is now occupied by more than 900 students after a record build time of nine weeks.

Kensington Aldridge Academy (KAA2) is Portakabin’s biggest emergency response build to date, and is made up of more than 200 individual modules, which were constructed off-site at the company’s York factory.

Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14, the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) approached consultancy and construction group Mace and modular experts Portakabin to provide a new building for the pupils of Kensington Aldridge Academy, which is located at the base of the Tower.

Working closely with the ESFA and Mace, engineers at Portakabin designed a temporary six block school, located in North Kensington, just over a mile from the school’s permanent location.

Built in just nine weeks, the school grew at a record pace with an average of seven pre-constructed modules a day being delivered to site, direct from the Portakabin manufacturing facility in Huntington.

Derek Carter, chief executive of Portakabin, said: “What has been achieved for Kensington Aldridge Academy in such a tight timeframe is testament to our steadfast belief that our buildings deliver outstanding quality.

“The high quality finish of the building was not compromised by the demanding programme and we replicated every facility from the former school, delivering more than 7,500m² of teaching and learning space in just nine weeks. As well as a learning environment; KAA2 offers routine, structure and a safe place for the school’s 900 students to continue their education.”

KAA2 contains a dining hall, science laboratories, food technology, an IT suite, two libraries, a dance and drama studio and a special educational needs centre. More than 42,000 man hours were dedicated to support the build, which opened as planned on Monday, September 18.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “I want to congratulate everyone involved in moving Kensington Aldridge Academy to their new site.

“It is an incredible achievement to build a school of this scale in record-breaking time after such tragic events.

“It was hugely impressive to see all the organisations involved working together under pressure to deliver a project of this magnitude successfully and minimise the disruption it caused to pupils. Everyone has done a fantastic job.”