Class act for Arkoni in Dunfermline

As a school with a proud past reaching back almost 900 years, the new look DunfermlineHigh School in Fife is now facing a gleaming future after opening its doors in August 2012.

The £40 million school was built by BAM Construction under the auspices of architect Diarmid McLachlan of Fife Council’s Property Services department who worked closely with staff throughout the design stages.

The site, with a capacity for 1800 pupils, showcases the very latest in fire door security and accompanying steel curtain walling thanks to the manufacturing capability of West Yorkshire based metalworking firm Arkoni. 

The school charts its origins back to 1128 when Dunfermline was the capital of Scotland. King David I of Scotland initially put up the money to found a school with connections to Dunfermline Abbey in the early 1120s which means that DunfermlineHigh School has a strong and valid claim to be the oldest in Scotland! 

Mark Prentice, MD and founder of Arkoni in 1990, is justifiably proud of his firm’s contribution to this new educational establishment: “It’s a fantastic looking building and we are delighted to have played our part in bringing it to life. 

“The fire doors and curtain walling within the new build provide wholly practical and aesthetically pleasing features that place the safety and security of staff and pupils as a paramount consideration,” added Mark. 

The large span curtain walling system screens which form the main fire compartmentation, separating the internal ‘street’ which leads to all the classroom and activity areas within the school was fabricated from Schuco Jansen VISS TVS E30 with integral Economy 50 glazed in double door sets. 

During normal school day operation the doors are held open by electro-magnetic door closers connected to the fire alarm system, which allows them to close automatically in the event of a fire. Arkoni chose to incorporate a built in selector mechanism to allow the rebated, smoke rated doors to close in sequence should the alarm bell sound. 

The doors were complete with retro fit anti-finger trapped devices to each leaf, and lever latch handles for an optional manual operation once in the closed fire door position. The glazing used was a mixture of 10mm Pyroswiss to the screens to provide an adequate line load to some areas and 6mm Pyroswiss glass to the door sets to reduce the weight of the door leaves. All glazing is class A safety.

A long life polyester powder coating system was also employed to keep that quality finish look for many years to come. 

The new school boasts extensive playing fields and a large Astro surface. Internally there is a Sports Hall, two Gymnasia, Dance Studio, Fitness Suite, Drama Studio with Rehearsal Rooms and purpose built facilities for all teaching subjects including, for example, a Commercial Kitchen for Hospitality. It also features a large assembly hall with tiered seating, Cafeteria, Coffee Bar and modern Library and Resources Centre. 

Whether DunfermlineHigh School really is the oldest in Scotland is a point for discussion but it’s clear that there’s a bright new future for staff and pupils thanks, in part, to the manufacturing and knowledge of Arkoni.

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