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24th October 2016

Construction students have benefitted from a visit to a historic York site currently being developed into a £73 million student village development. Students studying the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment, as well as Advanced Technical Apprentices, were intrigued by the scale of the 6.3 acre site acquired by developer Select Property Group.  The site was the former home of St Joseph’s Convent which has housed an order of nuns for the last 140 years. 

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The Lawrence Street site is being converted and refurbished into a 639 bedroom student accommodation, with additional three and four storey buildings constructed as part of the scheme as well as surrounding grounds to be landscaped. Construction student Alex Press, aged 17 and formerly of Fulford School, said: “Seeing how the VITA York site is built in different stages, and particularly how the materials blend with the surroundings, was very interesting. The site visit has inspired me to follow a career in architecture.  After College I hope to go to university or get an apprenticeship.”

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Nineteen year old student Yasmin Copeland (formerly of Holy Family Catholic High School, Carlton) said: “I have yet to decide which area of Construction I want to specialise in. Seeing how a construction site operates really opened my eyes to the many roles involved, each with specific skills and responsibilities.  They all have to work together to bring a construction project to completion. It was a fascinating visit.”

Said Construction tutor Andrew Pulleyn: “This massive development project, in a prime location in York, gave our students a great opportunity to develop a broader knowledge of the functions of a working construction site. Students benefit enormously from this kind of experience - it puts what they learn in the classroom into perspective. These students are likely to choose careers in different construction operations such as site management, estimating, quantity surveying and planning and being able to see how such roles contribute and combine on a working site is insightful and aspirational.”

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Project Manager John Laycock said: “When the students came to the VITA York Project they were given a Site Induction, followed by a walk around the site by the Project Managers. Many of them had not been to a building site before and were unsure which trade they would like to work in.  They saw first-hand all of the buildings in progress, demolition and conversion. The students were very keen to learn and said they enjoyed the visit. We hope they will come again to see the progress made and also the final completion.”

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Construction and the Built Environment Level 3

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