Children from Years 5 and 6 were given a tour of the site by Willmott Dixon Construction who are carrying out the work for Wealden District Council. Before visiting the site, Willmott Dixon's management trainee Wendy Wise met the children at school and gave a talk about health and safety on building sites and the type of works being carried out on the site. She then arranged for two parties of schoolchildren to visit the site and take part in a safety poster competition.
"The children thoroughly enjoyed visiting the site with Willmott Dixon," said the children's teacher, Helen Riddall. "It was very interesting to hear all about the new building. They had never been on a building site before so this was a wonderful experience. Many of the children are now talking about possible careers in the building trade including architects and designers. Thanks Willmott Dixon for inviting us."
The refurbishment of Wealden's Vicarage Lane building will enable all the Council's office-based staff to operate in one building, saving over £350,000 a year. It will also enable the Council's Pine Grove site in Crowborough to be sold for redevelopment, providing important opportunities for the economic regeneration of the town, and freeing up the proceeds to offset the cost of public services throughout the district.
The visit was part of White House School's Community Involvement programme.
"The Vicarage Lane refurbishment incorporates some innovative energy saving features including passive ventilation, an air source heat pump and photo voltaic panels," said Councillor Graham Wells, Wealden District Council Cabinet Member with special responsibility for the project. "I hope the visit gave the children an important taste of the world of work and how energy saving measures made today are an important part of building for a sustainable future."
Willmott Dixon thanked the staff and children of White House Primary School for being safety conscious whilst on their tour of the site.
"It was a pleasure for the site team to show the children around the site. They were all very intrigued and safety conscious and we look forward to announcing the winners of the poster competition on safety on a construction site in the near future".
All the poster designs will be displayed on the site's hoardings at the end of the year with the winner receiving a £25 Toys R Us voucher. The Vicarage Lane building is expected to be re-open again next summer, alongside the town's refurbished Civic Community Centre.
Related article: Full steam ahead for Council's move to a single site