Students’ time capsule in University development

A time capsule designed by the students of a Preston high school has been planted into the foundations of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) new £60 million Student Centre building.

Pupils from Our Lady’s Catholic High School in Fulwood designed drawings and articles to be included in the time capsule as part of a careers week conducted by main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland earlier in the year.

And as construction on the University’s £60 million development continues, the capsule was finally placed on-site by school teachers and the building contractors.

The Year 7 pupils from the school included drawings, pieces of writing and newspaper articles in the capsule and details of the original plans for the University’s £200 million Masterplan development.

Michael Ahern, UCLan’s Chief Information and Infrastructure Officer, said: “In addition to building a world class facility on our Preston Campus, we have also been extremely keen to work with our main contractors to help improve our local communities. We have asked our contractors to use local companies and hire local labour, while their events in the community have helped to get local students thinking about future careers in construction, surveying and architecture.”

Phoebe Dennis, CSR co-ordinator at Bowmer + Kirkland, added: “Working with Our Lady’s Catholic High School through the Lancashire Hub has allowed Bowmer + Kirkland to engage with the students in a meaningful way through supporting and facilitating careers activities and helping the school achieve The 8 Gatsby Benchmarks.

We are pleased that the time capsule will be a lasting legacy for our engagement with local young people, and hope that the Our Lady’s Catholic High School students are excited to revisit the UCLan Student Centre in future to unveil it.

Pupils from throughout the school took part in the careers week, with Year 8 students designing careers postcards to be installed around the hoardings of the Masterplan site, while older pupils learnt how graphic design programmes such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) are used in construction.

The week of activity was designed to get more children to think about studying construction as a future career, explaining the variety of jobs available in the industry and breaking down some myths about who can find work in the sector.

Aidan Nelson, Assistant Headteacher and Careers Leader at Our Lady’s Catholic High School, said: “Not only have our pupils been able to get hands on and learn more about the hugely varied careers associated with construction, but hopefully meeting with employers and employees will help inspire some to think about potential careers in the construction industry.”

Designed by Hawkins\Brown following an international RIBA competition, the 7,304 sqm UCLan Student Centre building will provide a new reception area, informal learning spaces and a student wellbeing support centre.

Major projects completed as part of the University’s Masterplan include the Engineering Innovation Centre – a £35 million state-of-the-art teaching and research facility – as well as the multi-faith centre Oasis and the Social Spaces buildings.


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