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Students complete ambitious renovation project

30 June 2017

Construction and Building Services students from Gloucestershire College have completely renovated a three bedroom house in Hucclecote, Gloucester, which was unveiled to guests at an ‘open house’ event.

The ambitious six-month project is the second venture of this kind by the College, following the successful renovation of a two bedroom property in Tredworth in 2016. This time around, the College went for a larger and more challenging project, providing even more students with the opportunity to hone their skills on a real construction site and work with local traders.

Over the past six months, students from a range of courses including plumbing, carpentry, electrical installation, plumbing and brickwork have contributed to the various stages of the renovation. This has included the installation of new plumbing, electrics and fixtures; conversion of the garage into a dining room; fitting a new timber floor; landscaping the garden; plastering, painting and decorating. The house, which was purchased for £195,000, has initially been valued at £249,950 and will go on the market later this month, with any profit made from the sale poured back into future renovation projects.

GC staff and stakeholders attended the open house, as well as representatives from some of the local businesses who generously donated their time and resource to the project. Guests were given a tour by some of the students who worked on the renovation as part of their technical training.

17-year-old Ryan Oakley, was one of the students who worked on the project as part of his Level 1 Plastering course. He said:

“Working on the house was hard work but a great experience and a different way of learning. I volunteered to put in extra time here because I knew it would help me get an apprenticeship, which is what I want to do next.

The house was in a bad way when I first got here, with plaster falling off the walls, but I think all the students did a really good job and it’s finished to a really high standard. I’m proud of the plastering I’ve done throughout the house, it looks great now it’s been finished by painting and decorating students.”

Level 2 Electrical Installation students, Ephraim Chimuka and Damian Redwood both worked on installing the lights, sockets and main electrical supply throughout the house. Damian said:

“Working on a real renovation is not like working in the workshop at college, where it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake. Here, your work really counts and you get that sense of accountability, which makes the job more realistic and rewarding.”

Project Manager Rachael Capener was on-site every day throughout the renovation and coordinated the students, staff and merchants involved with such a large undertaking. She said:

“We’re so proud of the hundreds of GC students who have worked on the house as part of their training, facing the challenges and experiencing the sense of achievement you can only get from a real construction site.

“I’d like to thank the local merchants who have kindly donated both their materials and time to the project. Their investment in the next generation of construction workers will surely pay off, by providing them with a pool of skilled young people to hire from, who have gained valuable on-site experience.

“Looking ahead, I’m excited to say we’ve already secured our next property, which students will begin work on in September. In the meantime, I’m inviting local merchants to contact me with quotes for the various jobs and materials required at the house.”

If you are a local merchant who would like to get involved with future GC construction projects please contact Rachael at:

Gloucestershire College offers a full range of construction and building services courses, with training provided in state-of-the-art construction workshops, as well as the opportunity to work on projects such as this. Find out more at: or call 0345 155 2020.

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