A total of 14 T-Level Onsite Construction students visited the seafront site earlier this month where groundworks and structural works are underway. It follows the careful removal of the historic building’s terracotta façade, stained glass windows, wooden balustrades and iron gates for cleaning and refurbishment.
During their visit, students, who are studying trades including carpentry, joinery, and bricklaying, were given a guided tour of the Grade II-listed Pavilion site by Lawrence McKenzie, Head of Health, Safety and Environment at the project’s main contractor, Ant Yapi. They were accompanied by Ali Atakan, Construction Manager and Ahmet Ozdemir, Project Director at Ant Yapi.
The project, which is being delivered by development company Gustavia in consultation with Hythe-based architects Hollaway Studio, will see the Pavilion reborn as a gateway to a highly desirable nine-storey residential development.
For the students, visiting working construction sites is crucial to provide an authentic appreciation of a live building environment, particularly in relation to the health and safety aspect of their vocational courses. It’s also seen as key preparation for work placements through the wearing of PPE and undertaking site inductions. Additionally, site visits provide students with a forum to ask questions and bring to life their college learning experience.
It was the students’ first visit to a live construction site since starting their course in September. As part of their two-year course at Folkestone College, regular visits to Leas Pavilion are being planned. A two-year build programme will offer the ideal live project backdrop to their college course.
Speaking of the students’ visit to the Leas Pavilion site Heather Williams, Built Environment Liaison Officer at Folkestone College, said: “We really value our employer partnerships. Industry visits like this inspire our learners, as they see in practice what they learn in college. This makes it more relatable to their studies. We ultimately hope experiences such as this will help fill the current skills gap in the construction industry.”