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8 January 2014, 10:04 | Updated: 8 January 2014, 13:00
Bournemouth and Poole College have been given the go ahead to build a new theatre, classrooms and medical labs in Poole next year.
The scheme, jointly funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and The College, looks set to transform the heart of the thriving North Road Campus in Poole.
It will create a modern theatre for Performing Arts and a complex of supporting classrooms for Media Studies and Health & Medical Sciences.
Lawrence Vincent – Principal of The Bournemouth & Poole College said
“This extensive development will be a real benefit for the whole of Poole. It’s not just about college staff and students.
“We are grateful to the SFA for its assistance with the funding to help the college move forward with facilities that are modern and fit for purpose. The council in Poole also deserves full praise for its support in helping create a college designed for the modern era in the heart of the town.
“It represents another major step forward for The Bournemouth & Poole College. The North Road site has served us well over many years but the new building, due for completion in 2015, will add enormously to the college learning experience.”
The work is scheduled to begin as early as March and the project will mean dramatic changes to the central campus landscape. Currently the site is occupied by chalet-style temporary cabins, used since the early 70s as classrooms.
Ken Roberts, Executive Director of Resources at the College, is charged with overseeing the project. He said:
“This is a really exciting development for the college and everyone associated with it. The new structure will provide modern state-of-the-art facilities to replace all the buildings currently used at our Lower Constitution Hill site (LCH). Several low-grade buildings on the North Road site will be demolished.”
A central feature of the new building will see the Jellicoe Theatre move to a new 136-seat home, along a performance space to replace St Andrew’s Hall. These are currently based at the college’s Lower Constitution Hill site, a mile from the North Road campus.
There will also be a Learning Resources Centre, new laboratories, a Digital Media Centre and break-out spaces for students which will transform the entire site.
The new building will increase the area of the college at North Road by 4,600 square metres, linked to the existing main buildings at North Road.
Mr. Roberts said the college has been in collaboration with a design team from Perkins Ogden Architects, specialists in building for further education colleges.
Also on board are engineering consultants Ramboll and Arup, helping develop the proposals, and the contractor Willmott Dixon Construction is helping guide the project.
The new building will be L-shaped, enclosing a large landscaped courtyard formed with the South and West wings of the existing main buildings. Energy efficiency and sustainability will be a theme of the design.
It is due to be completed in 2015.