Case Study: La Fontaine Academy

Main Contractor: Kier

Ainsworth Civils were awarded a Phase 3 Groundworks Package with main contractor Kier at La Fontaine Academy in Bromley. This was awarded on the back of their successful completion of Phase 2 Groundworks, where the team had been brought in to rectify and complete the works of a previous failed sub-contractor. The school required renovations to the building and the grounds, including asbestos remediation and installing new access ramps compliant with the Equalities Act.

New Pedestrian Access Ramps and Green Spaces

Ainsworth Civils initially reduced the ground levels where necessary to enable reinforced concrete (RC) retaining walls to form a new access path to the front and rear of the building. To ensure these retaining walls were in keeping with the style of the building, we encased them in brickwork to closely match the existing buildings as per planning conditions.

We added and diverted surface water and foul water mains as required to accommodate the new pathways. We also installed electrical ducts and built concrete pads for the electrical contractor to install new bollards and column lights along the access ramps, the playground and the side access road.

Alongside the retaining walls a multi-use games area (MUGA) for the children was formed: we installed edgings around the bottom and the sides of the new playground in preparation for the new surfacing and areas for green planting. Existing material was also approved and compacted as backfill to form the new ground levels for the access ramps.


RC stairs were formed to provide stair access as part of the ramps. Due to the originally requested Marshall conservation slabs being regarded as too expensive, Ainsworth Civils’ value engineering sourced an alternative and cost-effective bespoke replacement conservation slab which still complied with all approved Building Regulations Document Part M. We then capped the RC stairs with these bespoke conservation slabs.

The relevant and approved ribbed and blistered tactiles for the visually impaired were installed to the top and bottom of the stairways along with forming new crossings to the side access road.

Side Access Road

The side access road was initially in a bad state of repair, so we resurfaced it and re-marked all white lines for parking and access. At this point, the Dept of Education had given permission for the project to continue during the Covid-19 lockdown which involved introducing new social distancing and stricter safety measures for all teams involved. We worked hard to mitigate loss of time due to the inevitable supplier interruptions and the new social distancing and safety measures. Following this, we resurfaced the playground and finally surfaced the access ramps, at all times abiding by the new health and safety guidance.

When all the surfacing was complete, we installed a set of sustainable hardwood grandstand seating with matching stalls using yellow balau timber to provide a brand new seating stage area for the children to enjoy in their break time.

“We were very pleased with Ainsworth Civils’ work on the La Fontaine project, where they worked tirelessly to very tight deadlines and in very limited working areas.”
John Roberts, Kier Project Manager