A live case study in site management

Thursday 26 February 2015

Bedford College students were invited to view the first phases of construction at the new Flitwick Leisure Centre in order to use the Central Bedfordshire Council development as a live case study in site management.

Both the council and construction group SDC are keen to promote the project by giving the next generation of building professionals a valuable insight into the creation of the major new facility, through to its completion in early 2016.

In December last year, the Bedford College Level 3 Technical and Professional Construction students were given a presentation and workshop by Central Bedfordshire Council Planning Case Officer Dee Walker, and February 2015 was their first chance to tour the building site.

SDC Construction Manager Paddy Leslie guided the students through the foundation works and the Sports Hall area where the structural steelwork is beginning to taking shape. The piling to support the base of what will be the eight-lane 25-metre swimming pool has also been installed and the car park works have made good progress, with the roadways being formed and stoned up ready for tarmac.

Claire Cartwright, Senior Lecturer in Construction at Bedford College said: "Learning about construction has to be supported by trips where students can actually see the things they have been hearing about in the classroom, get a feel for the site, all the related issues and talk to the site managers about their thought processes. You cannot get that from a book.

As these students are with Bedford College for two years we are hoping to see the Flitwick Leisure Centre development right the way through to completion. Council staff had already provided them with a great insight into the planning stage.

SDC has signed up to the Considerate Constructors Scheme to help encourage and educate students who will one day get to work on real projects. 

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Central Beds Community Services, said: "The visit of Bedford College students is a great example of partnership and co-operation between different organisations, in which the Flitwick Leisure Centre project is proving a benefit to the wider community even before it is completed. We take great pride in the fact that Bedford College have identified the development as a valuable live case study for their construction students and are delighted that SDC are able to work this into their schedule."

The new Flitwick Leisure Centre will open to the public early in 2016.