Builders for the future

02 November 2006

A MILLION-POUND building project is quite a large "educational resource" for a school, but the design consultants, Mouchel Parkman, and the building contractor, Beard, suggested that the extension to the Marlborough Church of England School in Woodstock, Oxford diocese, should be a learning experience for the older students. As a not-so-ulterior motive, they hope that it might encourage boys and girls in the sixth form to consider some aspect of the construction industry as their future career.

The Headteacher, Julie Fenn (with spade), recently cut the first sod. The hope is that the new assembly hall and classrooms will be completed by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the pupils are being asked to air their views, and will be setting up a parallel mock project of their own, says Tony Peck, Mouchel Parkman’s project manager. They will have simulated meetings about running a contract, its programming, and the implications of any alterations. They will also learn something about costing. And, if they can be fitted into the curriculum, there will also be opportunities for those interested to do some work experience.

Not only will it give the students a sense of involvement with their school, but the experience might also persuade some of them that architecture, surveying, building services, or project management could offer a worthwhile future.

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