First phase of Oaklands College redevelopment on target for autumn opening
PUBLISHED: 08:00 31 May 2020
Work on Oaklands College’s £62m redevelopment build is ploughing on during the lockdown.
Despite the pandemic, the first phase of the college’s five-year redevelopment plan is on target and will be ready for students in September.
Construction company Willmott Dixon has helped ensure the project will be delivered on time by successfully adhering to social distancing rules with all their workers.
The first phase of the project on the Smallford campus is the sustainable Homestead residential block on the west side of the site, incorporating 81 en-suite bedrooms, communal rooms, kitchens and outdoor recreational area. This will be predominantly be available for students in the Wolves Sports Academies who travel from all over the UK to join the elite programmes and study at the college. Phase 2 will be starting shortly and will be focussed on the general teaching block.
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College principal Zoe Hancock said: “We are so pleased with the first phase of redevelopment at our St Albans campus. Willmott Dixon have ensured the residential Homestead block stayed on track and have delivered to a high standard, incorporating 81 en-suite bedrooms for students with fantastic facilities. We now look forward to the second phase which is the general teaching block due for completion in 2021.”
The college has now asked staff to name the general teaching block and lots of innovative suggestions have already been submitted. Oaklands has also been focussing on sports facilities with a brand new 3G pitch now completed and ready for students and the community in September.
Large amounts of soil which can be seen from Hatfield Road are also part of the project to provide a top quality sports pitch. A brand new sports pavilion, along with construction and engineering buildings, will be in Phase 3 of the development offering even more opportunities to local students and the wider community.
The project has been funded by a 350-home housing development on part of the college site, and aims to provide the college with a sustainable long-term future, with state-of-the-art facilities offering students the best possible learning environment.
The vision also includes plans for a new nursery and a Gateway building bringing together student services, the strategic leadership team and senior management alongside a student centre housing the learning
resource centre, student lounge and refectory.
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