Female-led construction team create new school in Liverpool

One Morgan Sindall site in Liverpool’s Sefton Park is showing how women in construction are inspiring the next generation.

Women the future of construction?

Traditionally construction is a male-dominated profession but six of the construction team at the £15 million St Hilda’s Church of England High School site are women including the project manager, the senior mechanical and electrical (M&E) manager, the senior quantity surveyor and the sustainability manager.

In addition, the community engagement manager and a university undergraduate on site are also women, working on the project which is scheduled to complete in April 2016.

St Hilda’s CE High School is currently housed in a 1970s era, three-storey building which no longer meets the school’s requirements. With funding from Liverpool City Council and procured under the North West Construction Hub, the new three-storey school is now emerging which will provide a modern learning environment. The school is one of 18 being delivered under the Liverpool Schools Investment Programme. Upon completion, St Hilda’s will accept boys for the first time and will increase its pupil count to 930.

Along with new teaching accommodation, the re-organisation of the site allows for the development of a multi-use sports hall and outdoor sports pitches.

Karen Fairhurst, Morgan Sindall’s project manager at the site, said:

“It is still really unusual to have so many women at such senior levels in a construction project team. Given St Hilda’s is currently an all girls’ school, we hope that our work here can inspire some of the pupils and open their eyes to the varied opportunities within the construction sector.

“The site is flanked on one side with a Grade I listed park and adjoins a Grade II listed house on the other. Add to this a series of tree preservation orders and the fact that the existing school building remains in use, these factors combine to make this a challenging build process.”

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said:

“Giving our children a fantastic education in first class surroundings is a major priority and this development will make a huge difference to the learning experience of present and future generations of pupils. That the project team is led by women can only help to motivate younger generations of girls who are about to embark on their careers.”

Senior staff and pupils have been heavily involved in designing the building which started in February 2014 and will be fully complete in April 2016. Morgan Sindall is also delivering a number of employment initiatives including apprenticeships, placements and work experience opportunities and has a target of directing 80 per cent of its spending at local companies.

The female-led project team in full includes:

· Karen Fairhurst, project manager

· Rachel Brown, senior M&E manager

· Sharon Moss, senior quantity surveyor

· Jane King, sustainability manager

· Alison Pernavas, community engagement manager

· Lisa Foy, student placement

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