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Abingdon & Witney announce new £2.1m advanced skills centre

Beard will construct the teaching block which will help the college to deliver high-level tech courses

Posted by Lucinda Reid | March 13, 2017 | Technology

Beard, a construction company based in Oxford, has been awarded a £2.1 million contract to build a state-of-the-art teaching block for Abingdon & Witney College in Abingdon. The new purpose-designed one- and two-storey building will offer high-level engineering and science teaching facilities for up to 120 students.

Located on Northcourt Road, east of the college’s recently constructed ‘D Block’, the new advanced skills centre will be built on the site of the former caretaker’s home which has recently been used as a resource centre. The ground floor of the new facility will house an engineering design classroom with computing and group work space, a STEM and higher education work base with computer facilities and a seminar room. The first floor will feature two classrooms, two breakout relaxed-learning spaces with computers, a café and an IT suite with group workspace. The skills centre will also include a smart modern reception area, complete with computers and relaxed-learning spaces.

Beard will also deliver a connecting one-storey technology laboratory workshop, equipped with engineering and science facilities, including a 3D printer and a laser metal cutter. The new facilities will allow the college to deliver higher-level technology courses.

The new skills centre has been carefully designed by Robothams Architects to complement the adjacent ‘D Block’ which provides facilities for advanced engineering and motor vehicle skills classes. The building’s modern exterior will be a mixture of colour panels and bright colour-coated doors and windows, set against a high percentage of blue brickwork to soften the visual impact.

“This brand-new teaching facility has been carefully designed to maximise space and flexibility to accommodate the demands of modern learning,” said Steve Colmer, contracts manager for Beard Oxford. “As the rest of the college will remain in use during the construction, we will use our extensive experience of working within a ‘live’ environment to ensure that the site remains safe for students and teaching staff, and that the construction causes as little disruption as possible. We are delighted to be working with Abingdon & Witney College on this project and look forward to its completion in November this year.”

The scheme will see the addition of 12 new car parking spaces for students

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