St Albans MP unveils new state-of-the art teaching centre as part of multi-million pound Oaklands College redevelopment
- Credit: Oaklands College
A state-of-the-art new teaching facility at Oaklands College in St Albans has been officially opened by MP Daisy Cooper as part of its centenary celebrations.
The ‘Evolution Centre’ provides 49 new classrooms, including a science laboratory and six dedicated ICT rooms, office space for teaching staff and a dedicated wing for the college’s Pathway 4 special needs students.
The new building represents the halfway point for the £62 million redevelopment of the St Albans campus, which aims to provide the community and students with a more energy efficient, modern learning space, ready to take the college into its second 100 years.
Construction specialists Willmott Dixon will begin Phase Three of the project in the spring, which will include a new construction centre expanding on the college’s industry-standard workshops and spacious, modern craft bays designed to prepare students for industry.
It will also create a new sports pavilion with hydrotherapy and physiotherapy areas, six new changing rooms and specialist facilities for the college’s sports and academy students.
Phase 4, the final stage of the redevelopment, will see the creation of a vibrant college square in front of the new Gateway building, which will finish the masterplan and create a focal point for the campus, with a new Learning Resource Centre, reception, campus café, library and specialist facilities for the college’s Supported Learning department.
Daisy Cooper said: “It was a big honour to unveil the state-of-the-art Evolution Centre. The students are clearly enjoying the chance to study in a light, bright modern environment.
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“It’s also great that the new leadership team has big ambitions to make Oaklands one of the best colleges in the UK, and to do even more to engage with our local employers and our community.
“I look forward to working with the team to make their ambitions a reality and am excited to see what the next phases of the campus re-development and the benefits they will bring.”
Oaklands principal Andrew Slade said: “This marks an important stage in our campus development. It is fitting that we deliver a state-of-the-art teaching facility for our students in the year where we mark our centenary and as we look to the future and our next 100 years. Oaklands has a rich heritage in providing 100 years of transformational education and this significant new teaching facility will play an important part in our building on that proud tradition.”