Strood Academy builder BAM Construction has been recognised for its “exceptional and unique” relationship with the local community.
Since starting on the school project last spring, BAM has taken pupils to an adventure park, allowed firemen to practice emergency rescues on site, paved a football club’s entrance road and much more.
The site team rated in the top 10% of projects across the UK in an evaluation process by industry body Considerate Constructors Scheme.
Its score of 36.5 out of 40 was boosted by a perfect 5 out of 5 for being a good neighbour.
CCS director and Strood Academy site monitor John Sayers said: “A site can only score 5 out of 5 if it is exceptional and unique.
“The detail of integration of the site team with all departments of the school meant not a single subject was untouched by the project.”
BAM is building a new £26m school on the same site as the existing Strood Academy, so has to make sure it engages pupils without disrupting their learning.
The contractor has helped pupils display artwork on site hoardings, attend local attraction Diggerland, and benefit from site visits and special lessons on the construction industry.
In addition, BAM has worked alongside the academy itself, as well as local authority Medway Council, to ensure that the local community benefits from employment and training opportunities throughout the construction process, to date offeringapprenticeships and jobs on site for local trainees andlabourers.
At the same time it has ensured safe barriers between the live and under-construction areas of the school, and taken noise readings twice daily to prevent disruption.
It also allowed the local fire service to use a site crane one Saturday for escape training, and the academy’s deputy head to climb the crane for charity.
The contractor negotiated with Bly Spartans Football Club that subcontractors could use its car park rather than blocking up residential roads. In return, BAM repaired the stadium’s potholed entrance road.
Medway Council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, councillor Les Wicks, said: “There is no doubt that the building at Strood Academy will benefit the education of students for generations to come, offering 21st Century teaching facilities.
“However, it’s also important that the construction process provides training and employment opportunities to local people and educational benefits to the students, and we are working closely with BAM to ensure that that this is the case at all three of its academy projects in Medway.”
BAM Construction project manager Stuart Groom said: “This exceptional score shows we work with the end user in mind.
“There are clearly lots of benefits to pupils of the new building, but we also want to inspire them to get involved with the construction industry.”
Foreman Jamie Hodge added: “We take pride in what we do and try our best to keep everybody in the community happy. We issue regular newsletters to residents informing them of how the building works are progressing and we have our own BAM Strood Academy Facebook page”
BAM education and community coordinator Elena Goodspeed said the contractor had worked with teachers to ensure pupils benefited from the building project regardless of what subjects they were studying.
“We did not just want to touch on obvious subjects such as construction and science,” she said.
“So even in English, for example, we had site workers talking about interview techniques, and our communications officer coming down to take a PR and media session. In business studies we talked about how we managed an office move.
“This has all given the pupils a chance to apply their studies to the real world, and to take ownership of their new building, which are important aspects of our work on site.”
The project is due to complete in the summer, and from September will house 1,500 pupils aged 11 to 18.
It will include sports facilities that will be available for community use; fitness trails; a wildlife garden; and an outside performance area