Pupils at the award-winning independent school, Sherborne Girls, in Dorset, have swapped the classroom for a construction site to see how work is progressing at their new £6 million Arts Centre.
Around 100 students put on their hardhats to get a close up view of the latest developments at the school’s new state-of-the-art facility, which is being delivered by construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall Construction.
The pupils were invited on site by Morgan Sindall Construction’s project team as part of an engagement day to promote the opportunities available for young people in construction and the wider Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sector.
Morgan Sindall Construction’s team gave pupils a tour of the site and also offered careers advice and guidance. Students also took part in a session on Building Information Modelling (BIM), a 3D model-based process used for creating and managing information on a construction project.
The new Arts Centre will provide facilities for the Music, Drama and Art departments as well as creating a social space for both school and community events.
Sherborne Girls has a strong tradition and focus on music and the new Arts Centre will create a facility for the school and also draw in musicians and audiences from the wider school community which will enable the staging of professional productions.
Designed by architects Burrell Foley Fischer, the building which has been designed with a cross laminated timber (CLT) frame will also feature in striking timber frame exterior. The centre will transform both practice and performance; providing flexible, high-quality recital space, sound proofed practice rooms and fully equipped recording studios.
The build programme is expected to complete in Spring 2019.
Jon Daines, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction in the South, said: “Morgan Sindall Construction is committed to supporting and inspiring the next generation of workers to fulfil their potential and consider the potential of a rewarding career in construction.
“Events such as this provide a fantastic opportunity for our project teams to share their passion for the construction industry and the wide range of careers available to them within the STEM sector.
“It’s a common misconception that careers in construction, engineering and technical roles are more suited to men and a change is starting to happen as the number of women working across the industry is on the rise, with women making up 37 per cent of the industry’s entrants from higher education.
“As an industry leader, Morgan Sindall Construction is committed to driving away these misconceptions about gender specific roles. Our engagement with pupils at Sherborne Girls is an example of how we are playing a key part in the development of a future-fit workforce for the construction industry.
“Work at the new Arts Centre is progressing well and we were delighted to welcome pupils on site. We hope that all of the students enjoyed the day and left feeling inspired and excited about the opportunities available to them.”
Jenny Dwyer, Headmistress at Sherborne Girls, said: “It has been hugely exciting to watch the project progress and the opportunity to explore careers within the construction and engineering sectors with Morgan Sindall Construction has been an additional and welcome bonus.”
Sherborne Girls was named ‘Best Public School of the Year’ at the Tatler Schools Awards 2017 and The Arts Centre development is part of the school’s ongoing investment in its facilities. The school has delivered a new Sixth Form Centre, refurbished boarding houses, a new science centre, swimming pool and astro pitch. Sherborne Girls has also grown its student roll year on year, and now teaches its largest ever cohort of more than 490 girls.
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