“This is scary!” says one young student as she and her friends are taken through the shell of her school mid-refurbishment.
As they realise their classrooms are just yards away on the other side of the wall, it’s clear these pupils had been unaware of the scale of work taking place.
“That’s been a crucial focus – minimising disruption,” explains Pentrehafod High School’s deputy headteacher Steve Riordan. “Morgan Sindall has been brilliant,” he adds.
Open Doors 2017 Morgan Sindall Pentrehafod School 7
The contractor is in the early stages of an extensive refurbishment and new-build project at the school, having begun on site in November last year. Due to the range of work being delivered and the live school environment, the scheme is being tightly phased and handed over bit by bit.
Some of the school’s year 7 and 8 pupils are being given a tour as part of Open Doors now that Morgan Sindall is starting to make progress for all to see.
We begin in the music and drama areas, which are being totally transformed. “How long do you think it’ll be until you get to use this room?” Steve asks one year 8 girl. “When I’m in year 10?” she guesses. “Close – three to four weeks,” he says, to considerable astonishment.
Clearly construction’s reputation needs work when it comes to speed of delivery.
Open Doors 2017 Morgan Sindall Pentrehafod School 8
The combination of revamped existing facilities and brand new buildings will allow several ‘temporary’ blocks to finally be removed, and will mean students are able to move from class to class largely under cover rather than exposed to the elements.
Project manager Ross Williams and community engagement officer Mike Little point out many of the new features that will improve the environment in which the touring kids will learn, such as the air-handling units – there is a clear emphasis on getting the surroundings right.
Open Doors 2017 Morgan Sindall Pentrehafod School 3
As well as using Open Doors to showcase its work to the pupils and local community, Morgan Sindall is aiming to go further on this project. The contractor is in discussions with the school to launch a programme that supports students into careers in construction, which would see it provide help with applications, stage mock interviews and show the youngsters even more of what’s done on site.
“The aim is that this really supports students interested in a career in the industry,” Mike adds.
Project: Pentrehafod High School
Contractor: Morgan Sindall
Client: Swansea Council
Start date: November 2016
Completion date: December 2018