Meet the Finalists

2022 | Secondary Schools

Ernestas Kupcikevicius
Morgan Sindall Construction

Amersham Secondary School extension, Buckinghamshire: school refurbishment, and construction of two-storey extension, completed in 55 weeks. 

Client: Buckinghamshire Council 

Contract: JCT 2011, design and build 

Value: £6.5m 

About the Project

Amersham Secondary School extension, Buckinghamshire

Whatever curve balls this project threw – and there were quite a few – Ernestas Kupcikevicius walloped them straight out of the danger zone.  

With the project stalling in precontract after the forecast costs soared above the budget, Ernestas stepped in. He axed a new one-way road system that required extensive retaining walls and upgraded the existing access road instead. It saved the £500,000 needed to make project finances viable again. His super-rapid completion of those roadworks in the summer holidays converted the client’s early scepticism to belief. 

The ground investigation revealed that the existing pipelines for the mains gas were rotting and leaking gas in several areas. It certainly explained the school’s enormous gas bills but also raised the challenge of how to deal with the problem without disrupting the live school. By shoehorning the replacement works into the next half-term holiday, Ernestas recovered the programme. 

His reuse of excavation material for the attenuation tank under the new car park was another canny move. It eliminated 250 muck-away lorry movements and a similar number of HGV deliveries of imported materials. 

In short, Ernestas leveraged his project management skills throughout to find solutions rather than excuses. His determination and resourcefulness kept the wider site team enthusiastic and driven. And that, assisted by early classroom mockups, was key to completing this project on time and on quality. 

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