The Boulevard Academy, which first opened its doors in 2013, occupies the site of Hull FC rugby club’s former ground and is a learning base for almost 600 pupils six days per week. It was one of the earliest academies to open as part of the government’s free school programme.
Although the academy has its own Site Manager and Caretaker, Sewell Facilities Management was approached to provide a full planned maintenance programme, and respond to any reactive maintenance requirements to ensure the building is safe, legal and well-maintained at all times.
Previously, the academy had another facilities management provider but made the change to Sewell Facilities Management in September 2018. The academy team wanted a local company which had a similar cultural ethos and could be called upon around the clock while they concentrate on education and the day-to-day running of the school.
Time restraints mean all checks and maintenance tasks can’t be completed by the in-house team alone and additional support is needed. Trained and skilled workers are needed to carry out some tasks and a trusted supply chain of contractors for the more specialist work.
The academy required a single point of contact to deliver this while working alongside their own team in partnership.
The Sewell Facilities Management team met with the academy’s Site Manager, Richard Howgill, and had a tour of the school to familiarise themselves with the layout and equipment.
A detailed proposal was put together by Sewell, including a planned maintenance schedule, which the academy was able to compare to other quotes through their own approaches to other contractors.
Sewell provided a competitively-priced, bespoke, value for money package, including assessing all of the academy’s equipment, and recommended a maintenance regime to follow.
As well as looking at the academy’s existing processes and procedures, the Sewell team made some suggested changes to planned maintenance to keep them safe, legal and compliant at all times, as well as maximising the lifecycle of the building and its equipment.
The academy team was aware of Sewell as a local company, how it works, how the team interacts with its customers, and how it embraces a people-focused culture.
Once the contract was agreed, all members of the Sewell team who have contact with the academy visited the site again, including Sewell Facilities Management Managing Director Martin Stead, to ensure a smooth transition and clear steps of how the partnership would work going forward.
Reactively, Sewell now takes care of anything which will cause downtime or disruption 24/7, such as problems with hot water or heating. Based so close to the academy site, the Sewell team can be there within 15 minutes to deal with any reactive maintenance issues.
From a planned maintenance perspective, statutory and legal checks are carried out to ensure the academy remains safe, legal and compliant. This includes safety checks, legionella management, fire door inspections, fire alarm servicing, intruder alarms and alarm monitoring, ventilation checks, and lift maintenance.
A full bespoke programme of checks and inspections has been planned either monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually for at least the next two years, ensuring Boulevard Academy staff can concentrate on providing first class education while leaving the rest to Sewell and the academy’s on-site team.
The academy team can contact the dedicated Customer Care Team at any time of day, as well as having access to Sewell’s online portal to manage their account, report or track jobs, receive updates and access testing and maintenance certification.
Jobs are flagged when they need completing and the Sewell team is familiar with room numbers, as well as where everything is located on the academy site to ensure everything runs smoothly and any issues can be pinpointed quickly.
As part of the academy transitioning from their previous facilities management provider to Sewell, various tasks needed to be undertaken on handover day to ensure continuation of the academy’s services and systems, and avoid any downtime.
From September 1st, 2018, the contract went live and full planned, reactive and out-of-hours support was available to the academy from that date.
The Sewell Facilities Management team ensures work is completed at times to minimise disruption to pupils, staff and the general school day, with tasks undertaken during school holidays whenever possible. The planned maintenance schedule is tailored to suit the academy’s needs, which is also planned around a longer school day and Saturday classes.
Benefits of having Sewell on board mean the academy team doesn’t have to manage multiple contractors, they have a single point of contact, access to an experienced and local team, and peace of mind that they can call on Sewell any time. .
The academy team can call the Sewell Customer Care Team number at any time of day and will receive a swift response, safe in the knowledge an engineer is never more than 15 minutes away.
Support provided around the alarm system ready for handover day ensured no downtime for the academy. The Sewell team improved the robustness of the intruder alarm system, installing a multi-channel communication device.
Now, if any alarm goes off on site, it registers through the same communication device, which means it is more secure and reliable. This flags to a monitoring company, which alerts the school and Sewell in turn, if needed. Some of the work involved in the initial set-up of the alarm system was provided free of charge.
Sewell also offers additional advice and guidance on an ongoing basis, ensuring the academy team receives best value for money, with the aim for them to feel confident, assured and comfortable in the partnership at all times.
“Everything is dealt with promptly and the whole team has been really helpful. Having this support makes our lives a lot easier. It’s nice to know we can ring or e-mail any time and we know we will get a quick response, which is vital for us.”