The property development consultancy Pick Everard has now overseen the completion of the first phase of the West Suffolk College’s £8M Campus for Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) Innovation, with students now occupying the facility for the 2019/20 academic year.
The West Suffolk College development was designed by the architecture firm Wynne-Williams Associates and was built by the contractor Coulson Building Group, featuring facilities such as two seminar rooms, ten classrooms, six laboratories, learning hubs, social spaces, and a business centre.
The Director at Pick Everard, Keith Prendergast stated: “This building marks the first of a multi-phased campus redevelopment programme, which will bring state-of-the-art, specialist STEM facilities to the region.”
“This first phase has significantly modernised the college’s offering. Our designs have enabled further and higher education teaching services to take place under one roof, alongside a space for local businesses. This creates greater links with industry, addressing the skills gap in STEM and creating an opportunity for real collaboration.
“The site will eventually house 350 students and has also been designed to accommodate space for businesses linked to the educational offer. We are incredibly proud to have been involved and look forward to seeing the rest of the campus develop.”
The Executive Director of Engineering and Technology at West Suffolk College, Gary Jefferson added: “The transformation of the Vitec factory is nothing less than remarkable. We have taken a 1960’s factory and, in phase one, we have created a state-of-the-art computer science and engineering facility which will train the creators, programmers and innovators of tomorrow from GCSE level through to degrees.
“We now have an ultra-modern teaching accommodation for nearly 400 students, covering digital technologies and engineering disciplines and are already approaching our capacity. The philosophy of the design is helping the cross-disciplinary project work that our students are completing with businesses. By creating spaces for students to circulate and collaborate on projects in a flexible environment, we can future proof them for success in their careers ahead.
“At this phase, we have still only developed approximately one third of the site and have amazing plans to develop the remaining two thirds. We are set to expand our site by creating labs for agritech, physics, chemistry, biology, big data, artificial intelligence and fully immersive augmented and virtual reality technologies.”
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