Stafford College has officially announced details of its new £3.5 million Science & Technology Centre.
The opening of the centre, set to be in September 2017, will coincide with the launch of new sixth form programmes available at the college which were announced by Principal Karen Dobson in November.
Students can now choose from nine career pathways and take a combined programme which includes vocational and A-level subjects – supported by key employers.
The £3.5 million renovation of the college’s Broadeye building will begin over the coming weeks and is expected to be complete around mid-June with the centre being available to students studying at Stafford College from September 2017.
The Science & Technology Centre follows on from a successful bid to Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership . The LEP will provide £2 million of funding to support the project with Stafford College contributing another £1.5 million.
David Frost CBE, chairman at Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, commented: “The Science & Technology Centre at Stafford College will not only be beneficial for its students but also for local businesses and the Staffordshire economy.
“Science and technology are huge growth areas for the Region and by providing a high-quality training facility the college will be creating the future workforce for these exciting and innovative industries.”
The Science & Technology Centre will cover four floors and have state of the art facilities including robotics suites, biology, chemistry, physics and engineering laboratories, IT suites and a LEGO Education Innovation Studio.
Specialist equipment will include 3D and laser printers, Apple Macs with the latest software and a variety of robotics technology.
The building has been specifically designed to support the new student pathways and local employer training needs. The centre will provide a modern learning facility for the science and technology industries that are constantly innovating.
The nine new combined pathways will be linked with local or national employers providing students with the latest innovation direct from the related industry.
Preston Brooks-based architects, Ellis Williams, have managed the internal re-design of the project.
The firm have worked on previous projects for Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NuLC) including its £60m pound new campus development, which opened in 2010, and a new Performing Arts Centre in 2014.
GF Tomlinson, who was successful in the tender process earlier this month, will lead and manage the construction work.
Daniel Attree, an engineering level 3 student at Stafford College, said: “I’m really looking forward to the Science & Technology Centre opening and having the chance to work in the best facilities in the area – it’s going to support me with achieving my grades and getting into university.”
Karen Dobson, principal at Stafford College and NuLC, added: “This is an exciting development for Stafford College, the Science & Technology Centre will be one the best facilities for learning in the West Midlands.
“We decided to invest additional funds, on top of the original bid, to develop the best facility possible and give our students the best learning experience in these important career areas.
“The centre will be the hub for the new sixth form provision giving students the opportunity to learn and develop the skills needed to progress to university or on to an advanced or higher apprenticeship.”
Stafford College is hosting an open evening on Wednesday 7 December from 5pm to 7.30pm to present parents and students the opportunity to find out more about the Science & Technology Centre and the new provision – visit staffordcoll.ac.uk for more information.