Merseyside Based Hugh Baird College Set To Open Doors
11th February 2014 Paul Andrews
Completion of extensive building project by Wates to aid higher education provision for Merseyside.
Merseyside-based Hugh Baird College is opening the doors to a brand new multi-million pound facility, following an extensive building project delivered by Wates Construction.
The new ultra-modern L20 Building, based on Stanley Road is designed to drive community and employer engagement while ramping up higher education provision.
Hugh Baird College principal and chief executive Yana Williams said the development would place the educational body at the heart of the community.
The 2,600-square-metre facility includes a dedicated University Centre with open-plan study areas and a multi-purpose performance arts space for public events,ranging from school productions to conferences. Further community-led facilities include a public library, learning resource centre and a café with an outdoor seating area.
The five-storey contemporary building, designed by architect IBI Taylor Young, was completed following a ten-month build programme.
Ms Williams said: “This is a really exciting time for the college, signalling our vision and progressive outlook to raise aspirations across the region and engage students with the local community and businesses. It further demonstrates our determination to align with the Liverpool City Region’s key growth economies. The L20 Building is set up to support training and development in key areas, helping to equip the next generation with the skills required to drive our local economy in the coming years.”
Throughout construction, Wates used the project to provide practical work experience to support Hugh Baird College’s curriculum, with Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Construction students joining the on-site team.
Tony Shenton, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction North West, said: “Hugh Baird College is quite unique in its curriculum delivery and the comprehensive educational service it provides make it an incredibly valuable education and training provider in Merseyside. Our team has applied its extensive education expertise to ensure the new building delivers on the college’s vision for a state-of-the-art academic and vocational facility which will bring lasting benefit to students, employers and the wider community.”
The first floor of the building is being opened for businesses, helping to create an industry-led atmosphere and link students with the workplace. Firms will further benefit from professional training courses for staff.
The second floor will house the University Centre, which will be a dedicated place of study for students taking one of the college’s degree programmes.
“The new build will enable us to transform our delivery of higher education in a bid to make it more accessible and affordable for people across the region,” said Ms Williams. “We will now be able to offer a greater depth of degree level courses, Certificates in Educations and PGCEs, covering areas such as creative arts, health and social care, business management and IT.”
The college’s recently launched L20 Hotel School, set up to drive hospitality training standards across the region, has been charged with heading a corporate hospitality base with business conference and events facilities, located in the new build.
In recognition of the great heritage of the area, historic iron gates presented by the women of Bootle in memory of HM King George VI, to acknowledge his efforts in World War Two, have also been fully restored and will form the main entrance to the new site.
Hugh Baird chair of governors Jim Brown said: "This new building in the heart of Bootle is custom made for community involvement. Throughout its development we had the community at the forefront of what we wanted to achieve here. It offers the young people who use it a complete education experience linked into our other campus buildings in the immediate area. It also offers library and cafe facilities to members of the public who are welcome to visit anytime. We are really pleased that the building is now fully operational and thank all those who made it possible."
Wates was appointed to the project via the North West Construction Hub (NWCH), which facilitates the cost and time efficient procurement of public sector building works in the North West.
Wates was appointed to the North West Construction Hub’s medium value framework (£500k to £10m) and high value framework (£10m plus) in 2010, which forms part of the North West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (NWIEP).