Graham Construction proved it is top of the class as its team commenced building work on a major extension for Macaulay College on the Isle of Lewis.
The construction company, which is the main contractor for the refurbishment of Lews Castle, is supporting the college on a pro-bono basis by providing two extra project spaces and a connecting corridor which will enable additional students to join the team next year.
Graham’s team helped the Community Interest Company (CIC) to complete and submit its building permit forms before beginning the construction phase of the project.
This included laying foundations, constructing the supporting walls, plastering and insulation for the new adjoining structure.
Sub-contractors employed on behalf of Graham Construction on Lews Castle will also be involved, responsible for the electrical and painting tasks once the exterior façade is ready.
The project, which was coordinated by Graham Construction’s project manager, Mark Frizzel, is expected to be completed in July when the college can use the additional rooms for an IT-suite and another project space.
The company has also presented a careers talk to pupils at the Nicolson Institute and is organising site visits and work-experience opportunities for young people.
Gary Holmes, regional director of Graham Construction, said: “Lews Castle is a really interesting development to be involved in. We are delivering a major restoration and refurbishment project on an A-Listed building while undertaking these rewarding services for the region.
“Macaulay College is a valuable service provider for the Western Isles and we’re pleased to be supporting it. This is the latest stage of our contribution to the local area, something which the company values extensively.
“We are also helping to create jobs on the islands and developing skills for young people while using local employees and subcontractors.
“Once work on the castle is complete, we’ll be proud to leave a lasting legacy of skills, employment opportunities and support for the community.”
The facility provides people with additional social and educational requirements a programme of activities which encourage meaningful and fulfilling working and social lives.
The educational strategy has been developed to enable Macaulay College students to achieve their full potential reach person specific targets, whilst developing their independent living skills.
Rebecca Lindsay, co-founder of Macaulay College, said: “The extra project spaces will be of real benefit to the college and our students.
“The development of a IT-suite will allow our members to work towards achieving SQA qualifications which will not only improve their confidence but will put them in a position to move on to supported employments roles within the organisation. It is something we’re really excited about.
“I’d like to thank Graham Construction for undertaking this project and look forward to being able to use the new facilities.”
Lews Castle is a Victorian Grade A-listed building which includes a new museum and archive extension plus an extensive operation to repair and restore the historic interior of the castle located west of Stornoway.
Once completed, the museum, which will be the first in the UK to use Gaelic as its first language, will form a key visitor destination and gateway to a unique heritage network across the 15 inhabited islands of the Outer Hebrides.