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  • Writer's pictureKCS Projects

Case Study: Westbrook Hay Prep School

The Client:

KCS Projects were awarded the contract for a safeguarding project at the Westbrook Hay Prep School in the summer of 2021.

Located between Berkhamstead and Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, the Westbrook Hay Prep School (established 1963) consists of a large site that includes the main schoolhouse, a performing arts centre, extensive sports facilities, and 26 acres of parkland. The school operates as a co-educational school for children from 3-13 years of age.

The main Westbrook Hay building was constructed in the 17th Century and is classed as a Grade II listed building on the National Heritage List for England.

The Brief:

KCS Projects were awarded the brief to secure the perimeter of the school as part of their safeguarding project. We were expected to factor in the size of the site when preparing our plan for the works.

All works had to conform to BS 5839 2017 standards, and all members of staff were required to undergo enhanced DBS checks and follow the COVID-19 guidelines outlined in school policy and government legislation.

Our Work:

To fulfil the requirements of the brief, we first installed a new main entrance gate with underground automation, it was installed with a GSM intercom which was programmed to dial the reception phone when someone is trying gain access to the site. As the headteacher lives on the school grounds, the intercom was also programmed to notify the headteacher, the office and the deputy head.

To promote principles of functionality and convenience while preserving the security of the site, we installed a timer on the main entrance gate, which would cause the gates to open at pre-programmed intervals, including the pupil drop-off time. We also installed an induction ground loop for the main exit gate, which would detect any vehicle approaching.

The third gate we installed also featured an induction ground loop and underground automation, while in addition to constructing the automation gates, we fitted stock fencing to secure the perimeter of the site against intruders.

Further to the works on the site's perimeter, we returned to the site during the half-term break of February 2022. During this period, we worked with a tree surgeon to cut back any trees and bushes that could obscure visibility – this ensured better security fundamentals for the site and created a more professional appearance.

Then, over the April 2022 Easter holidays, we dug out the car park and grass area, which increased the size of the site and made unused areas more accessible and suitable for further development.

We next installed new concrete edging and re-tarmacked an area, while also putting shingle down. All the works successfully conformed to BS 5839 2017 standards.

The Outcome:

We were able to meet the brief of the works by securing the perimeter using automated gates, induction ground loops, and a GSM intercom.

Using this system, any intruders to the site would be detected using the induction ground loops, and this information would be transmitted through the GSM intercom. Once an intruder was spotted, the GSM intercom would inform the school's reception, the Headteacher, the Deputy Head, and the school office.

We ensured that this system was optimised for the daily routine of the school by installing a timer, which would permit the gates to open during specified periods, such as pupil drop-off times.

As an additional benefit, we installed stock fencing to further secure the perimeter of the site, and worked with a tree surgeon to cut back any trees and bushes which may have obscured the visibility of the grounds.

Furthermore, we dug out the car park and grass area and installed new concrete edgings, tarmac, and shingle, which made unused areas more accessible for use and further development.


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