Given his first project management role with sole responsibility for a site, Mark Penny showed his capabilities in this new-build school project. Although his participation began only once costs and programme had been agreed, he was heavily involved in costing and assessing the effects of a change in the foundation design before works got under way.
Approachable and proactive, Mark found pragmatic solutions for both strategic and day-to-day problems to keep the project moving forward.
One of his key strengths was stakeholder engagement. The site’s sensitive location on the Jurassic Coast world heritage site in an attractive village aroused local concerns about the effects of construction activity on the community as well as the appearance of the new building. Mark’s collaborative approach went a long way to ensuring all-round satisfaction with the new school.
He quickly appreciated that by developing a relationship with the landowner, which leased the site to the school, he could gain alternative access. It avoided the village’s narrow residential road and allowed site welfare facilities to be set up off the build footprint. That relationship building came in handy again in finding a nearby location to dispose of the 2,500 cubic metres of soil required by a planning ruling that the roofline had to be lowered by 600mm: the material was trucked just four miles away to raise the landowner’s land above the flood plain.
It was Mark who took the decision to undertake the site contour reprofiling during the holidays. And he delivered numerous newsletters requesting the neighbours’ understanding for specific deliveries such as the site welfare facilities, the steel for the frame and the aluminium roofing. He also held residents’ meetings to alleviate concerns and give the project a human face.