Students leave a legacy on new school entrance

The erection of the steelwork is a key stage of development. Traditionally we celebrate a client’s building taking shape with a steel signing event so that students and teachers can leave a permanent mark on their building.

Notwithstanding the difficulties posed by the current COVID-19 pandemic, we thought it fitting to celebrate progress on our Harrogate Grammar School project for the Red Kite Learning Alliance in the traditional manner. The school themselves have faced a number of challenges as a result of the pandemic, not least in creating an online school and continuing to deliver education for the children of key workers, so this in effect became a joint celebration for all parties to recognise the efforts made to attempt to maintain business as usual as far as practicably possible.

Following Government and Industry guidance, we have thoroughly implemented safe working practices on site which include appropriate social distancing measures. With the school committed to staying open for children of keyworkers, Sewell Construction was keen to provide an opportunity for this small group of children to leave messages of hope and a permanent mark of their presence at the school during this time.

On Wednesday 6 May, the children of key worker who were still at school were invited to sign the steel that would form their new student entrance with their Headteacher, Mr Neil Renton. Thus making their messages, signatures and sketches a part of the school’s rich history which dates back to the opening of the school on its current site in 1933.

Mr Renton commented: “I am really pleased that Sewell have worked so closely with us to give our children this opportunity. We are all excited about the new build and believe that this innovative design will significantly enhance the provision for our students.”

Over the last five years, the school population at Harrogate Grammar School has gradually increased to meet the significant demand for school places. The school needed to find an innovative solution to the flow of students around the school, increase classroom space and also create a central focal point in the school.

Our site manager, Carl Hurdus, has been leading the implementation of the new health and safety measures on-site at Harrogate Grammar School. He said:

“Since the changes to working due to coronavirus, we have had regular conversations and responded to updated government advice on a daily basis.

“This meant suspending the work on the entrance for a short while but, after careful consideration and thorough planning, we are pleased that we were able to put the safety measurements in place that meant our team were able to safely return to the school to resume work.

“It was a great day having the children join us for the steel signing and I’m very pleased that we were still able to go ahead with this milestone event whilst making sure everyone remains safe and has the chance to leave their mark on the new build.

“We are proud to be working with Harrogate Grammar School and the Red Kite Learning Trust to deliver this project.”

Over the last two weeks, progress has been rapid which helps to minimise the disruption for when the children eventually return to school. View our recent newsletter to see the progress so far: