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Gloucestershire College students complete pioneering house renovation

24 September 2016
Image representing Gloucestershire College students complete pioneering house renovation
Principal Matthew Burgess, students Chris and Harry, and Project Manager Rachael Capener

Gloucestershire College is celebrating the completion of its pioneering real-life house renovation project in Gloucester, completed by construction and building services students and staff.

The College was the first in the UK to buy a property for its students to work on as part of their training, paying £71,500 at the start of the year for the outdated two bedroom terraced house in Tredworth. After a full refit, including installation of new plumbing, electrics and fixtures, reinstating some of its original Victorian features, landscaping the garden, replacing the roof, and plastering, painting and decorating, it will be listed on the market at £125,000 with local estate agent TwoCan.

Today the students and staff involved with the project showcased the finished renovation to supporters, including local merchants who kindly donated materials and equipment. Phil McCormick, Managing Director of Nick’s Timber, addressed guests at the event, speaking of the importance of preparing young people for the construction industry.

He said: “As Gloucester’s oldest family business, we know the importance of nurturing the young workforce, which is why we were keen to support the College by providing materials such as fencing.

Now the first student renovation is done, we’d like to see more involvement from other local traders on future projects.”

Image representing Gloucestershire College students complete pioneering house renovation
Phil McCormick addresses the guests

The renovation has been overseen by GC Project Manager, Rachael Capener since it began in March. She said: “The last six months has been a steep learning curve at times, but the good thing is we can learn from it going into our next project.

“Hundreds of students have worked on the house as part of their training and experienced both the challenges and sense of achievement you can only get on a real construction site.

“I can’t thank the merchants who have donated materials and shared their expertise enough, and I hope they can see that their support has paid off.”

Image representing Gloucestershire College students complete pioneering house renovation
The keys are handed to Estate Agent Gerry McFall

Two students showed particular commitment to the project by working full-time throughout the summer. Harry Dibden and Chris Brazier gave guests at the celebration event a tour of the finished rooms and impressed with their professionalism and knowledge.

Harry said: “I completed my Level 2 Carpentry course this summer and have found working on the house has really helped me develop my skills and build confidence. It also gave me the chance to learn other related skills, such as painting and decorating.

“Working on a real site is not like college; it’s up to you to get things done but it’s great to see the finished product. My Mum can’t wait to see the finished house, she’s so proud of me!”

Principal Matthew Burgess said: “We were the first college in the UK to buy a property as a student renovation project and it has proven such a success, that we’re already looking at our next investment.

“The project has supported our commitment to ensuring our students leave college skilled, employable and motivated, by providing them with a range of work-based experiences and opportunities to collaborate with local merchants.”

Image representing Gloucestershire College students complete pioneering house renovation

Take a look at the before and after gallery below to see the amazing transformation of the first GC House...

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