Chesterfield Royal Hospital opened up its main entrance doors for the first time since last year’s fire.
A group of construction students in their second year of a BTEC Level Three course were given a guided tour of the site by contactors Styles and Wood to get a first hand look at a major building project in action.
The move re-iterates the trust’s commitment to working with local businesses and the local community and provided the 17 – 21 year-olds with a tantalising glimpse into an industry that they may one day be a part of.
Tim Laycock is the project manager in the Royal’s estates team. He said: “Styles and Wood asked us if they could approach the college to show the students around and of course we wanted to help in any way that we could.
“The work that’s been completed so far has been fantastic and there’s a lot for the students to see, even at this advanced stage of the project.
“We’ve put the roof over what will be the shop area, begun building the walled area that will form the boundaries of the shop and the new floor has been put down.
“There’s still plenty to do, including installing the new help desk, seating, ATM and all of the furniture but we’re more or less on schedule and expect to be open to the public by the end of April to beginning of May.”
Richard Hall, Head of the Public Sector at Styles & Wood who actually gave the presentation, said: “This visit and presentation sits alongside our graduate training programme and shows our commitment to invest in young talent entering the construction industry.
“We appreciate the opportunity that the trust has afforded us and I’m sure the students got as much out of the day as my team seemed to have. We look forward to many more events like this in the future.”
Ron Middleton is the curriculum manager for planning and professional studies at Chesterfield College and supervised the class as they were shown round the site.
He said: “They’ve got a lot out of this visit because we’ve done a lot of theory but there’s nothing like seeing it in action.
“They’ve been told about the importance of planning, scheduling deliveries, working with the client and actually doing the job.
“The ceiling is still exposed so they saw all of the intricacies of the wire and pipe work that are usually concealed and got to ask questions that they may not even have considered back in the lecture rooms.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for them and I’d like to thank the Royal and Styles and Woods for having us.”
The main entrance was left devastated by the fire that took hold on Saturday, June 25, and the area was made safe before a lengthy process of demolition.
The rebuilding work began in early November and the new entrance will feature a smaller reception desk, an electronic queuing system, a better service for patients with disabilities and more privacy for patients booking in electronically.
There will be a bigger shop, an information point and area where self-help groups and charities can promote what they do.
The colour scheme will be grey , black, red and white with a much lighter floor and ceiling area with the biggest design change seeing a sprinkler system installed inside the main entrance and outside the offices above.