Schools and colleges have an important role to play in the life of the communities in which they are based. Anwyl Construction is always proud to be involved in the development of high quality built environments for educational institutions in North Wales and the North West.
Understanding the education environment
Working in this sector presents a number of specific challenges, not least the fact that we are very often called on to work on sites where the everyday business of education is ongoing. With large numbers of pupils or students sharing the site with us, we have to plan our educational construction projects carefully in order to ensure that educational activities are not disrupted and the health and safety of the public are never compromised.
However, thanks to our experience of education sector construction, we have all the processes in place to manage these requirements, and our teams work closely with the institution to minimise disruption.
For example, we work on the logistics of delivering materials to the site without disrupting the arrival and departure of pupils or students. We also plan the students’ movement around the site, ensuring that potentially dangerous areas are not accessible, and we lead discussions on health and safety to make sure everyone understands how to stay safe within a construction environment. We also work with staff to plan our construction around exam periods, as well as managing our impact on the wider area and community.
As a company committed to responsible and sustainable construction, we believe we have a role to play in educating young people about the nature of our industry. Anwyl has four construction ambassadors who go out into the community and help people understand the many possible career options within construction. These workshops are organised in conjunction with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and are designed to promote the industry in general, building awareness of the many apprenticeships and providing ways to help access pathways into the industry and other openings that are available.
The education construction projects we work on tend to fall into one of two categories: school projects, and the construction of buildings for further and higher education.
At the prestigious King’s School in Chester, we have worked on a number of projects including a new infant school and redevelopment of the junior school. As with most school construction projects, these both involved working within a live educational environment in which the daily business of the institution was continuing.
The infant school, known as Willow Lodge, houses six classrooms for pupils aged between four and seven. Large full-height windows and attractive cedar cladding all contribute to a light, airy and welcoming atmosphere for young children to develop their learning.
Whereas Willow Lodge was a brand new facility, the junior school project at the King’s School was an extension of an existing building. The health and safety aspect of this project was more complex, as the construction work was happening in close proximity to the pupils, but we managed the process effectively and our work in this regard was praised by the school’s head teacher.
“I’m very pleased and thrilled with it. It’s certainly surpassed my expectations. I’m particularly impressed with the outdoor areas, including the playground. It’s important that the outdoor areas are as high quality as the interior and they are.”
Margaret Ainsworth, Head Teacher – Kings Infant School
At Coleg Llandrillo Menai in Anglesey, we built the institution’s Energy and Fabrication Centre which created facilities for those studying in the energy sector. The project involved demolition of an existing building followed by the construction of a two-storey facility with the potential to be extended in the future.
The building is an excellent example of our commitment to sustainability, as features including rainwater harvesting, solar panels and an overall 24% reduction in the building’s CO2 emissions all contributed to the project being recognised as the highest scoring BREEAM Excellent building in Wales.
Other projects have included the Hwb Dinbych, Youth Enterprise Centre in Denbigh, which features a combination of education and enterprise facilities. With ten apprentices on-site and a communication programme with the local community, this project has had a very beneficial impact on the local area.
There is no doubt that the quality of the learning environment has a real impact on the educational experience, and we are committed to delivering projects of real value, on time, on budget and to the required specification. As a longstanding family business with strong connections to the communities in which we work, it brings immense satisfaction to know that generations of pupils and students are taking the next steps towards their future careers in buildings that we have helped to bring to completion.