Balcarras School, Gloucestershire


Balcarras School, Gloucester


ORION Double Conic Fabric Canopy,
16m (L) x 8m (W)

Balcarras School, opened in 1986, is an academy school for 11- to 18-year-olds, located in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. The school has received an ‘outstanding’ judgment in each of its last 4 OFSTED’s going back to 2001. The last inspection in 2014 was full of praise for the quality of the school’s work, the great teaching, the superb support given to the pupils, the pupils’ achievements and their enjoyment of their education.

Faced with ever decreasing funding, Balcarras School have been innovatively balancing their books with initiatives including the commercial management of its excellent sporting facilities; meeting the recreational needs of the wider community. Balcarras Sport Centre is open for public use weekday evenings and weekends. Their facilities include a 4 badminton court sports hall (also used for netball, indoor football, basketball and archery) a full sized floodlit astro pitch, the home ground for Cheltenham Hockey Club, and a full sized grass pitch where Charlton Rovers men’s 1st team play. There are also cricket nets and an outdoor hard court marked out for Netball from September to April, and home to Charlton Kings Tennis Place in the summer term.

One of the most versatile components of Balcarras’s community offer is the multi-purpose pavilion room, an indoor facility frequently booked for meetings and by associations, overlooking the schools playing fields.

Streetspace Urban Structures recently designed and installed an ORION Conic Tensile Membrane Canopy for the pavilion after the school identified it as a long-term investment that would improve both their student and customer experience. By making use of the large, unused outdoor space in front of the pavilion and investing in an attractive covered breakout area for larger gatherings, whatever the weather, the school saw long term social and commercial benefits. The striking canopy design also added an impactful and stylish flourish to the existing traditional brick building.

Our Streetspace team completed the tensile fabric installation in little over a week during the October half-term. It was essential that the aesthetics of the design had a style that complemented the surrounding buildings and facilities. The collection of rainwater was also seen as a potential threat so this was controlled with gutters on each side of the canopy that over sailed the existing pavilion guttering; allowing the efficient dispersal of collected water. Our experienced team of installers were able to access the area and install the tensile fabric canopy without damaging any of the finished surfaces thanks to a column design which reduced foundation work and limited the number of components.

‘We are absolutely delighted with our new outside canopy. It has transformed an otherwise lightly used area of the school, into a highly useable and versatile space.’

Dominic Burke – Headteacher

Follow the link for further information on canopies for schools OR give our team a call on 01227 200404