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Mill Chase Academy

We Are Moving

Mill Chase Academy - Our Brand New Site and Buildings

Construction of our new school is well underway on Budds Lane.  We expect to move into our brand new buildings in October 2019.

The existing Mill Chase Academy is a successful secondary school located on the eastern fringes of the former garrison town of Whitehill and Bordon, East Hampshire. Since the planned departure of the MOD in 2015, proposals have been developed for the relocation of the town centre, and with it the Mill Chase Academy, to a more central location to enhance the quality of place and regeneration of the town.

Hampshire County Council Architects have worked closely with senior staff at Mill Chase Academy, the University of Chichester Academy Trust, Hampshire County Council’s Childrens Services, as the local education authority and the Education and Skills Funding Agency to develop the proposed school plans. The overall cost of building the new school facility is just under £30million. The funding has been raised from contributions from Hampshire County Council, from the Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company, Homes and Communities Agency, East Hampshire District Council and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

This is an exciting time for Mill Chase as an already successful school to benefit from state of the art facilities including:

  • Cutting Edge Science and Technology laboratories
  • State of the art technology across the site
  • Performing Arts Centre
  • Dance studio
  • 300 seat theatre
  • 4G pitch
  • 6 court Sports Hall
  • Multi Use Games Area
  • Forest School Learning Area

Responding to the mature woodland context and generally flat site, the school has been designed as a rational, collegiate campus with four separate buildings ordered to create a central courtyard that is intended to act as a social and teaching hub for the school’s community. This collection of buildings consists of two teaching wings to the north and south with the larger volume sports and assembly/performance halls in between the wings to form the courtyard. This configuration provides excellent external teaching spaces, assembly, dining and performance spaces shaded with external canopy structures.

The proposed use of covered external circulation spaces both reduce internal floor area and, at a day-to-day level, ensure that students and teachers get a breath of fresh air between classes. They are also, more philosophically, redolent of the tradition of a building encircling space that has both purpose and meaning for the people or community, in this case school, it houses- whether this be in the cloisters or quads of academic institutions or the market places of Hampshire towns.

The southern teaching building provides the principal elevation onto Budds Lane and is set back from the tree line to create a welcoming new pedestrian friendly school entrance. A brick colonnade leads towards a cut-through entrance which takes you into a central courtyard at the heart of the school. The Hampshire red stock brick, used throughout, echoes the finely proportioned garrison buildings located across the town. The brickwork is part of a modest palette of materials including dark aluminium framed curtain walling with translucent, transparent and back-painted glazing.

The wider site has been designed and configured to meet the challenging requirements of a contemporary 900 place secondary school but, also, the community of Whitehill and Bordon. Extensive consultation with proposed user groups together with Sport England devised a diverse brief of facilities that will enable year round use as part of the Healthy Living Masterplan for the town development.

As a public authority, Hampshire follows as far as possible, a best practice approach to sustainable design without necessarily following a structured BREEAM or similar assessment protocol. The Mill Chase project adopts a low energy, fabric first strategy offering good views in and out to the historic Woolmer forest site context with a large array of solar pv panels, located to the southern teaching wing’s roof, providing 10% of the school’s energy requirements.

The raison d’etre of the in-house team of architects, interior designers, landscape architects and engineers at Hampshire County Council is to create public buildings and places of high architectural and functional quality within the challenging funding constraints of the public purse. The proposals for Mill Chase have adopted these principles and will, once constructed, create a modern and cohesive learning environment for the children of Whitehill and Bordon and a Gateway community building for the new town.


  1. Our New Site