Corby’s new £38m Tresham College campus is just weeks away from opening its doors to its first batch of students from across the county.
Contractors BAM Construction will hand over the keys to the new owners of the building in Oakley Road on Monday, just weeks ahead of the first intake of 1,000 students.
It marks the end of work which started when BAM arrived on the site of the old Corby Community College at the end of 2009.
The project has remained on budget and on time throughout.
Inside, the main atrium features aesthetically-pleasing ‘learning pods’ and a steel-clad staircase in a nod to former occupants Corus.
And all of the first floor workshops are built with a view to all the departments working together.
They feature mock rooms and staircases for painting and decorating students, which at the end of the year will be taken down and rebuilt by carpentry and joinery students.
There are also mock bathrooms for plumbing students to practise on.
The ground floor will have a social area, refectory and cafe, computing rooms, information desk, a gym and the college’s health and beauty faculty.
Project manager Alan Bell said: “It is the technology college principle – the idea is to re-enact what it is like in the real world. With any construction site or new building, everyone has to work together and people will have to do that here.”
Mr Bell has also reflected on his time working on the site. He said: “Builders can be perceived as the enemy.
“Nobody really wants to have us around. We’d hardly arrived in Corby when the old school was vandalised and gutted.
“But it has really turned around in the two years we’ve spent here.
“One in four of us live here or nearby, and BAM’s approach is to bring as many local benefits from the work we do as we can. We’ve sourced a lot of materials locally, like concrete and tarmac.
“And we’ve given around £2.5million of work to local firms. Northamptonshire has done well from this project.
“I’m very excited for Tresham and for Corby. The regeneration of the town is a big opportunity and these new facilities will give the right environment to encourage learning for young people and the community.
“If builders can sometimes seem like the enemy, then I hope BAM has been a friend to Corby.
“We’ve shown we can make a positive difference. I’m very proud of what we’ll be leaving behind us, and we hope to be back before long.”
For more information on courses on offer at the new campus, visit the website at www.tresham.ac.uk
(Article puplished – Evening Telegraph 18 August 2011)