Department for Education



Project Value



Race Cottam


Morgan Sindall

Project Brief

Funded by the DfE Framework, CAPA College is a new Performing Arts College, offering unique specialist provision for 500 students.
The vision is to create an outstanding 16-19 Free School that becomes a flagship as a post-16 centre of excellence in Arts Education in the North.


Siituated on a constrained site adjacent to Wakefield Westgate Station and bounded by highways; a semi-basement was designed into the slope at the rear of the site which necessitated an AIP agreement with highways.

Due to the height requirements of the dance, drama and teaching spaces and the sloping site, the building floor plates are split. We designed the structural beams to cater for vibrations due to the physical requirements of the space.

Surrounding the theatre are a number of singing and drama studios that are equipped with the best technical facilities outside London. The 3-storey steel frame, with concrete metal deck slabs, has been designed to support the extra loads to accommodate equipment.

Cost Saving

We identified savings of around £80,000 from re-design of the foundation solution and reducing the gas classification.

Ground conditions consisted of varying depths of made ground onto weathered bed rock. The ground improvement solution of vibro stone columns facilitated the design of traditional pad foundations and was a more economical solution than piling.

Importantly, we partnered with geo-environmental consultants to reduce the gas rating from CS2 to CS1 classification, eliminating the need for gas membranes, saving time and cost.