This week we paid a visit to our Cardinal Newman project in Preston, where the creation of the new college campus is in full flow. We caught up with one of our newest Project Managers, who joined the team back in June.

What’s your name and where’dya come from?
I’m Dan Hodgson. I grew up in Southport and still live there with my family now.

How long have you worked in construction?
20 years now! But I joined Crossfield six months ago.

What interested you in the industry?
I’m quite a logical thinker so I like numbers, which led me down an Engineering route. I did a HNC with ‘day release’, meaning I could learn on the job. I really enjoyed the hands-on approach and using the setting out tools.

Tell us a bit about the Cardinal Newman Project…
We are currently delivering a 3-storey building right by the existing campus, from which the college will run their T-Levels courses (a new technical based qualification that features industry placements). We are due to hand over by next summer, ready for the new intake of students in September 2021.

What have the challenges of this site involved?
When I first started on this project, I was completely daunted by the logistics. Not only are there 2000 students coming in and out of the adjacent campus four days a week, but we are located in a residential area surrounded by housing on all sides. Stakeholder engagement has been key in gaining the approval of local people and public safety has remained our number one priority. With a dedicated team and meticulous planning we have now successfully broken the back of the job and all is running smoothly, which has provided me with the confidence to tackle any project!

As a Project Manager, what is the best thing about working in construction?
Definitely the teamwork. The morale on site keeps us all going (especially this year!) and every member has an integral role to play in the construction of a building. The collaboration it takes to turn an empty space into a finished development provides a huge sense of achievement when you see the complete product in front of you.

…and the worst?
For me, one of the most frustrating things is the Great British weather! It is beyond our control and can really slow us down. The recent rain has proven difficult on Cardinal Newman, but we’ve managed to overcome this by sequencing the way in which the roofing is installed.

Sum up 2020 in one word:
Opportunity. Things didn’t look promising for my job at the start of this year, but the circumstances led me to a new career opportunity with Crossfield and I have never looked back!

Finally, tell us a fun fact about yourself!
I have a pet bearded dragon called Sky, who we accidentally inherited five years ago.

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