Primary School Visits Ipswich Tidal Barrier Site

VBA a joint venture comprising of VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and Atkins recently hosted a school visit at the Environment Agency (EA) Ipswich tidal barrier site, for The Oaks Community Primary School.

The purpose of the visit to the EA £58 million scheme was to teach the children about flood defense measures as a stimulus for a Design and Technology class, as well as a way of improving their writing.

During the visit, the group were given a brief presentation of the overall project, a group walk along the western side of the site and the opportunity to make their own Ipswich tidal barriers.

The on-site carpenters had mocked up a barrier shutter for the group, where the children learnt the importance of steel and concrete within the structure.

The children got to mix their own concrete, under supervision from the VBA team, as well as getting to try on several items of personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE).

John Clay, construction manager at VBA, said: “This was a great opportunity for VBA to educate young children about flood risks and show them a more ‘hands on’ approach to learning. We continue to work hard with the EA to protect around 2,000 properties on this vital project.”

John Forth, class teacher at The Oaks Primary School, commented: “The activities were engaging and we were all very impressed with the way that the team handled the children’s questions. VBA will undoubtedly have inspired a few future civil engineers and construction managers!”

VBA were awarded one phase of the works totaling £21 million of the Environment Agency’s £58 million scheme and will maintain the barrier until 2018, when the scheme is due to be completed.