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School's out in Scotland to see Marr College

Kier’s Marr College is contributing to the community in a big way in Scotland.

“It’s not often you get weather like this up in Scotland,” says Kier assistant quantity surveyor Martin Logan, squinting up at the cloudless blue sky.

The sun is shining down on Marr College today, setting the first day of Open Doors off to a good start.

“There’s a lot of interest in the building because it’s been around for a long time – and is a big part of the local community,” says Kier BIM manager Craig Mason.

There has already been 1,400 people on site last month to check out how Kier are revamping the college after the contractor has opened its doors to the general public.

“It’s a great opportunity to engage with the local community,” says Mr Mason, adding the virtual reality headsets in particular have gone down a storm with children visiting.

“They like it because it’s like Xbox,” he says. “It’s a good way to get them involved.”

Ross Bains, who is nine years old, thinks Open Doors events are important.

“I have a better understanding of building sites and what the jobs are like,” he says. “I really enjoyed looking at what was going on.”

When he grows up, going into construction is something he would consider – he’s taken a keen interest in what’s been going on at the Marr College project.

“He pointed out which fire alarms were needed in one part of the school,” says Clair Bains, Ross’ mother. 

She says an open door policy is a great idea: “Even for half an hour you can get an idea of what a building site is like,” she says. “It’s good to get kids interested in STEM subjects.”

Mr Mason says more needs to be done to raise the profile of the industry to the public. “If we want to get young people into the industry, we need to do more events like these.”

Project: Marr College
Contractor: Kier
Major subcontractors: BDP (architect); Ramboll (M&E engineer); Goodson Associates (civil & structural engineer); Gardiner & Theobold (quantity surveyor)
Client: hub South West Scotland for South Ayrshire Council
Value: £24.5m
Start and end dates: September 2015 – December 2017
Location: Troon

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