Youngsters leave lasting legacy as work on community hub & library progresses

Pupils from two York primary schools have made their mark on the steelwork of a new £4.1 million hub and library in the heart of a York community, leaving a lasting legacy for years to come.

Five children from St Aelred’s RC Primary School and five from Hempland Primary School were invited to sign the steel at The Centre @ Burnholme, and their names will forever grace the structure which will be a focal point in the Heworth area of the city.

A new community hall, library and cafe, nursery and meeting spaces will be provided on the former Burnholme Community College site, alongside recording space for Tang Hall SMART, a community-led social enterprise which also works with disadvantaged groups across the wider York area.

Sewell Construction has been appointed to carry out the 45-week project on behalf of City of York Council and pupils signing their names on the steel framework marked the latest construction milestone as work progresses.

This event represents another positive step for the project, which will see around £35m of public and private sector investment for the development of a health and wellbeing campus, benefiting residents of all ages.

As well as the community and library building, the site will contain a new care home, health centre and affordable housing while also retaining sports and play facilities.

Councillor Ann Reid, Interim Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at City of York Council, said: “It is great to see work progressing so well. Once complete, the Burnholme health and wellbeing campus will be a great asset for the community.

“This is why we want to engage people through events such as this, with young children signing the steel and learning more about the facilities that will be available to the community.”

Since the main steelwork was erected, the ground and first floor concrete slabs have been laid, internal drainage works have been completed and concrete stairs have been installed.

Work has started on the roof, while openings within the nursery area have also been created and an additional car park area has doubled the capacity for vehicles.

Zoe Lightfoot, Headteacher at Hempland Primary School, said the children were delighted to sign the steel.

“It’s lovely for the children to be involved because they live here and go to school here,” she said.

“It’s fantastic for them to be part of it now and what it’s going to become for the local community.

“There has been lots of chatter about the work and they are very excited to see the changes.”

Sewell is drawing upon its facilities management expertise to ensure the transition into the building is seamless for the council.

Mark Dodgson, Project Manager at Sewell Construction, said: “It’s fantastic to work on this project, which is so important to the local community, on behalf of City of York Council.

“Having the children from local primary schools sign the steel means they can feel involved from the very beginning. They will look back on this day, remember signing their names on the steelwork and feel proud.

“This is a hub for the whole community and we want people to feel part of it.”

Mark said work is progressing well on site and the development is due to be completed in May 2018.

“We’re now progressing with the façade and have completed the car park, which was our target over the half term period,” he said.

“We’ve also improved the existing car park to double the size of the area from a vehicle perspective. This should help to ease congestion in the area at peak times, particularly when sports facilities are in use.”