Ursuline College


Kent Catholic Schools Partnership




Westgate-on-Sea, Kent


Roofing & Building Refurbishment



Ursuline College (formerly Ursuline Convent School) is a Grade 2 listed Catholic comprehensive secondary school, located in Westgate-on-Sea, in Kent. In 2006 it became a Catholic Comprehensive Specialist Sports College, and in January 2015 the school converted to academy status.


When the main college building began showing signs of age and was in need of refurbishment, Inspire were contacted in order to survey the structure and provide detailed recommendations.


A comprehensive specification was issued by the appointed Contract Administrators, incorporating a wide range of remedial activities. This included replacement of the various pitched, vertical and mansard roof finishes, along with extensive decoration and associated works to the external façade of the building.


The project involved working closely with BMI Redland’s Technical Solutions Team, with their Spec Master special action being used throughout.


Much of this project took place in a live teaching environment and close communication with the school was therefore essential in order to plan and manage the programme of works so that daily activities could continue safely. Where required, certain aspects of the works, such as window repairs, were carefully co-ordinated take place during the summer vacation period.





This comprehensive refurbishment project consisted of the following:


  • Removal of existing pitched, vertical and mansard tiled roof finishes, including lime mortar bedding, battens and felt work
  • Supply and install of new tiling and all associated detailing for a complete weathertight solution
  • Refurbishment of chimney stacks, chimney pots haunching & isolated brickwork repairs / repointing
  • Replacement of windows at roof level
  • Replacement of gutters and downpipes along with all associated works to fascias
  • Complete external redecoration including all pre-decoration repairs involving wood care system, removal of loose paint work back to bare wood, followed by primer, undercoat and two gloss coat finishes to all external windows and painted doors, internally and externally
  • Main Roof Tiles: BMI Redland Rosemary Clay Classic plain roofing tiles
  • Ornate Ridge Tiles: Manufactured to match existing, purpose made clay or coloured concrete tiles to suit ornate profiles of existing on dry vent ridge system with 120-degree ridge to suit vent system in lieu of existing 90 degree
  • Dormer Roofs, Hip Tiles/Bonnets: Manufactured to match existing, purpose made clay or coloured concrete tiles to suit colour of existing tiles
  • Dormer Cheeks and Mansards: BMI Redland Rosemary Clay Classic plain roofing tiles, with club tile to suit existing feature band. Manufacture of fishtail tiling, purpose made clay or coloured concrete tile to match Rosemary Clay Classic coloured external brick and stone façades.




To ensure that the building remained protected during the works, an extensive temporary roof was erected over the complete building during the summer school recess. The roof refurbishment and associated works were then undertaken over a 20-week programme whilst staff and pupils remained insitu. Care had to be taken to ensure that noise levels were at a minimum throughout to avoid any disruption to the school.


Due to the sensitive, Grade 2 nature of the building, a number of requirements had to be met in order to meet the client’s specification and obtain approval from English Heritage. For example, ornate ridges and hip tiles had to be carefully selected to match the existing as far as practically possible.


In addition, despite Inspire’s own high standard of health and safety, all works had to be carried out and completed in accordance with guidance given by Public Health England and the school’s own internal safety procedures.


Despite these challenges, all remedial works were completed on time and within budget, successfully meeting both building regulations and English Heritage approval.


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