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Construction students enrich studies with site visit to Down Leisure Centre

Donning hard hats and high visibility vests, construction students from SERC's Downpatrick Campus recently had the privilege of visiting the site of the new Down Leisure Centre in Downpatrick thanks to the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) hosted by Paul Maginn, Contracts Manager at Felix O'Hare and Co Ltd and Gary Lennon Site Manager.

Paul is a former SERC student who progressed to the Construction Engineering and Management degree at university on completion of his studies. 

Eighteen enthusiastic students visited the site which is due for completion next summer. To assist with their studies students got an insight into aspects of facility management including site maintenance and care, fit for purpose sustainable construction techniques for energy, materials and waste. 

To kick-start the visit students had a health and safety advisory session. The event included a presentation which focused on the main construction challenges of the £14.5m project along with a guided tour by both the contract manager and site manager who explained the daily aspects of their job throughout.

The facility will have a 25m swimming pool, a learning pool with a movable floor, four-court sports hall, squash/handball court, multi-purpose rooms, a spa area and a state-of-the-art fitness suite.

Simon Kinghan, SERC tutor commented, “This was a great opportunity for the students to see first-hand how a major project is being delivered. There is a terrific link with this project in that Paul Maginn MCIOB, the Contract Manager, and Gerard Graham, the regional Chair of the CIOB, are both SERC graduates.

Simon continued, “For students to get the opportunity to ask them directly about their career paths to date helps them see the exciting career opportunities that are available in the construction industry. We are extremely grateful to the CIOB and Felix O’Hare & Co Ltd for arranging and facilitating the event.”


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