Workforce praised for major college redevelopment
A construction company delivering the multi-million pound redevelopment of a major Wrexham college campus has praised its workforce and supply chain for overcoming challenges presented by COVID-19.
Wynne Construction is entering the ‘final stages’ of works on Coleg Cambria’s Yale site and has revealed the steps taken during the pandemic to severely minimise disruption and avoid lengthy delays.
The Bodelwyddan-based construction company installed additional welfare facilities, sanitising stations and one-way systems for staff, as well as temporarily converting the main hall into a large canteen to adhere to social distancing during lunch breaks.
The contractor also carefully planned and prioritised the workload two weeks in advance to safely increase the number of people on site.
The measured and strategic approach by the Wynne Construction team has meant there is only a slight delay to the project completion, with handover scheduled for winter 2020. The original date was autumn 2020.
Graham Dickson, contracts manager at Wynne Construction, said: “Coleg Cambria shared our number one priority, which was the health and wellbeing of everyone involved in the project.
“They have been fantastic and placed no pressure on us to rush the development at the expense of health and safety.
“Before the coronavirus lockdown, we had 120 workers on site. In our first week back, there were just 20 and we safely increased this by 10 per week. We’re now at 90 operatives on site, which is our limit.
“Our team has been fantastic in ensuring they adhere to all guidelines and procedures. We hold weekly briefings, including with our supply chain, to provide updates and answer any queries.
“I would like to thank Coleg Cambria, our employees and supply chain partners for their cooperation and patience during this unusual time.”
Activity on the £21m redevelopment, which started in spring 2019, is entering its final phase.
Graham added: “External works re-started in the last few weeks, with footpaths, ramps and steps set to be installed across the campus shortly and the internal works are progressing well.”
Coleg Cambria chief executive Yana Williams said the college has been working in partnership with Wynne Construction and thanked them for their efforts over a challenging few months.
She added: “Due to the delay caused by COVID-19 and the fact that we are running at about 75% of capacity on site due to social distancing, the new Yale development will now not be ready until later this year.
“Once opened, the revamped Yale site will impact on learners in Wrexham for generations to come. Improved facilities include a new-look kitchen and restaurant, a sports complex, cutting-edge study spaces, IT suites and a 200-seat conference hall.
“Our young people can be inspired and challenged to meet their potential here and progress to the best university courses, apprenticeships and employment.
“We can't wait to see the completed project and open its doors later this year.”